Local search advertising is an online advertising strategy that is aimed at reducing advertising costs through regional targeting of customers. This practice allows the advertiser to set distance limits on their click-through ads that determine who sees their keyword or image advertisement. This helps to prevent people who are not going to be able to use the services or who are not able to access the physical store from clicking on the advertisement.
Is Local Search Advertising Right for Your Business?
The first question that you need to ask yourself is whether or not local search advertising is right for your business. The answer to this question is going to depend on how your company makes money. For example, if you have an online store, then local search advertising is not a good strategy to implement, as you want as broad a base of customers as you can get. On the other hand, if you operate a local car repair shop, then you want only people in the local area to access your advertisements.
Setting Your Limits
When you set up the distance limits for your advertisements, you need to think critically about your customer base. The distances that you select need to be restrictive enough to prevent people outside of your business’s territory from clicking on the ad, but broad enough to capture possible customers found in territory-overlap regions. A good way to calculate the ideal distance to focus on is to determine the most active radius of customer activity and to add 10 to 20 percent, depending on your business type.
Targeting Your Customers
Now that your ads are focused on your target geographical region, you need to format your advertisements to attract the most customers from this region. To do this, you will need to evaluate what your customers are most interested in and what issues are impacting your region. For example, if you operate a business within a university town, then you will want to infuse your advertisements with references to the university, its sports team, its accomplishments and its mascots. On the other hand, if your town is known for a special attraction, e.g. a forest, an amusement park or a national monument, then these are the things that you will want to add to your advertisement.
Local search advertisements work great for special promotions. To get the most from your special promotions, local search advertisements try to tie them into special events or celebrations that people in your region are interested in. For example, you can schedule your special promotion to run during the same time period as a Fourth of July celebration or community street fair.
Ron Miller, “Search That Works,” Business Week.