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Google Ads for Local Businesses: 7 Tips for Success

The evolution of marketing has created an era where consumers are accustomed to searching for information online to assist their shopping experience. 

The days of spending thousands of dollars on a billboard, print ad, or TV commercial are long gone. One of the most effective ways to get local business in front of potential customers now is by running Google Ads. 

With such a shift in consumer behavior, local businesses with small budgets face a lot of challenges, since Google Ads campaigns can burn through ad spend quickly if not done right. 

To help you get the most bang for your buck, generate brand awareness, and turn leads into sales, here are seven helpful tips and proven strategies to run successful Google Ads for local businesses. 

Content:

  1. Run a local campaign in Google Ads

  2. You need to have a Google Business profile

  3. Use Google Analytics to build your Google Ads remarketing audience

  4. Use a CRM software

  5. Run a brand campaign

  6. Always track calls

  7. Keyword strategy

Google Ads For Local Businesses With Small Budgets YouTube thumbnail

1. Run a local campaign in Google Ads

As a local business owner, you want people to visit your store to gain sales, right?

That’s why you need to run a local campaign.

The goal of a local campaign is the same as yours: to get consumers to visit your store. It helps you achieve this by showing your ads to potential customers near your location.

Plus, it’s heavily automated so it saves you time. Local campaigns understand that your real business growth is offline, and that’s where you should focus. 

All you have to do is provide your store location, campaign budget, ad text, images, and videos. Google then automatically optimizes everything for you: bids, ad placements, and ad combinations. 

It also helps you maximize store visits since it shows ads across the following network:

  • Google Search Network (search results page)
  • Google Display Network (banner ads on other websites)
  • Google Maps
  • YouTube

We have a guide on how you can set up a Local Campaign in Google Ads for your reference.

2. You need to have a Google Business profile

Google Business Profile, formerly known as “Google My Business,” is a tool that helps you manage your online presence for people to easily find your business. 

It makes you visible on Google Maps and relevant local search results. 

GBP Solutions 8

The image above shows what our Google Business Profile looks like when someone searches for Solutions 8.

The Google Business Profile also works the same way as a directory, since it can include your location, contact details, business hours, and a link to your website. 

You can even set up messaging, customer reviews, and get your business email addresses through GBP.

It’s absolutely essential for local campaigns because connecting your profile to your Google Ads account is a requirement for you to be able to push ads in the map placement.

Setting up a profile takes less than thirty minutes and it’s a simple process that can help secure the future of your local business.

After creating your Google Business Profile, be sure to optimize it by filling out as much information as possible and adding a lot of photos to maximize your discoverability. 

Make sure when people search for your company, they can easily find directions, contact information, and other compelling information that will help them make the trip.

3. Use Google Analytics to build your Google Ads remarketing audience

To save money and effort, you should make sure you’re targeting the right audience when it comes to your remarketing ads. 

Keep in mind that the audience you want to reach out to are those who have been on your site for more than 10 seconds, and you can easily do this by using Google Analytics.

As Google Ads tracks ad clicks, Google Analytics provides information about what happens after the potential customers click on your ads. 

Not only can you use Google Analytics to ensure you’re targeting the right audience, but you can also incorporate the following metrics into your Google Ads account:

  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per session
  • Average session duration (in seconds)
  • Percentage of new sessions

Once you have these values, you’ll have a more complete picture of how your customers interact with your keywords. The data can then be used to guide your bidding strategy, keyword development, or negative keywords.

4. Use a CRM software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system that makes it easier to keep track of your business relationships and stay in touch with your leads, which is critical when making a sale. It also helps you organize all customer information and sales progress in one place, giving you a better overview.

Here’s an example of how it can help your local business:

When you get a lead from your website (whether it’s someone who fills out a form, schedules a chat, or calls), the CRM gives you the information you need to track where that lead came from

If they close, you can send that information back to Google via a feature called Offline Conversion Import (OCI), which will tell Google how much the lead was worth.

This is important because if you have a customer who closes for $500 and another who closes for $5,000, you want Google to know the difference. 

Because Google can identify common denominators between those two prospects, it will then be compelled to go out and try to get you more of those valuable clients.

A CRM will prove invaluable to your marketing efforts. So if you don’t currently use one, it’s time to consider.

5. Run a brand campaign

If you’re using Google Ads for local businesses, one of the most important campaigns you have to run is a brand campaign. A brand campaign is a search campaign that uses your company’s branded keywords—company name, product names, and even names of your team members.

This is one of the campaign types we ALWAYS run for our clients, not just for local businesses. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Because you’re the owner of your brand names, Google will reward you with all of the traffic if you run your own Brand Name campaign. 
  • Running a brand campaign typically isn’t expensive, with the exception of those businesses with very generic brand names, of course.
  • Other brands can take advantage of the opportunity to bid on your branded key phrases if you don’t. However, even if your competitor is bidding on your brand name, the campaign will still be beneficial because it will protect your brand.

6. Always track calls

Track, record, and score your calls—it couldn’t be more straightforward than that. 

Doing so allows you to determine which calls are the most valuable to your business. You can then inform Google Ads the same way you do with your pipe lead information forms. 

Alongside the Google Ads optimization, you can use this data to improve your campaign efforts to help increase your ROI.

Learn how to set up and install phone call conversion tracking in our step-by-step tutorial. This allows you to easily track people who click on your ad and call the number displayed on your website.

7. Keyword strategy

Make sure to have localized search terms in your keyword strategy. These can include:

  • “Your product/service” + “near me” (ex. “coffee near me” or “plumber near me”) 
  • City 
  • ZIP code 
  • Other location indicators

Localized search terms are especially valuable if there are a lot of national players in your industry. The terms help your campaigns get in front of those looking for your keywords in your location right now. 

Furthermore, it can be really helpful for you to prioritize keywords that you know are obviously close to home. Examples of these are current news and events in your area, feed these into your keyword research, and use them as inspiration for your campaigns.

If you follow these strategies, you will have a good chance of winning the battle against big brands making a bigger splash with their marketing efforts. 

To be sure, it can be tempting to throw your money at advertising your business, but the most effective local businesses are those that build a solid foundation for growing their business through real investment. In many cases, this investment has more to do with putting money into quality customer service, improvements to offerings, and innovation in knowledge, products, or services.

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