Local Paid Search Best Practices for Local Marketing

Whether you are doing paid search to do physician marketing, home care marketing, or home improvement marketing, or marketing for any local business, the pay per click best practices below can be used to power your business forward.

Step 1 – Set Up Your AdWords Account

  1. Simply go to http://www.google.com/adwords/, and sign up.
  2. Pick your keywords using the Google Keyword planner.  Note, you should also bid on your branded terms such as your company name and the name of star employees.  The branded terms should be put into their own campaign because they will perform the best.
  3. Group your keywords into “Campaigns” and within campaigns group your keywords to no more than 10-15 keywords into an “Ad Group.” Note, if your monthly spend budget is under $5,000 per month, do not run any more than 4 campaigns because your daily budget is set by “Campaign”.
  4. Choose your match types for your keywords.  If you are not sure what to pick start off with phrase match.
  5. Write ad copy for each “Ad Group”.  The text in each ad group should speak to the ad copy perfectly; if it does not, you have too many keywords in your ad group.
  6. Set up your geo-targets within AdWords to only target the geographic area that you will get customers from.
  7. Set your maximum cost-per-click (C.P.C) 15% less than Google recommends.
  8. Enable site links on the branded campaign, and phone extensions and click-to-call on all campaigns.
  9. Set up unique landing pages for your paid search traffic.  Do not promote your general website.  The landing page should have a schedule an appointment number, a short form with no more than 6 fields, a testimonial, a few pictures, a headline, and a few bullet points highlighting why you are unique.  Also include 3rd party awards or certification logos you have and a short paragraph about your practice.  Nothing else.  With paid search less is more.
  10. Set up “Conversion Tracking” on your website on the “Thank You” page that someone goes to after requesting an appointment.  This will allow you to see your cost-per-lead, per keyword within Ad Words.
  11. We also recommend setting up “Call Tracking” with a partner such as ResponseTap so you know how your campaign is performing in its entirety.

Step 2 – Turn Your Campaigns On & Optimize

  1. After you launch your campaign, spend several hours in it per day managing it, changing match types, bids, turning off and on keywords, testing ad copy, changing campaign settings, running search query reports, and adjusting landing pages.
  2. Then once your account is performing well, go to it a minimum of twice per week and optimize.
  3. Start doing display and text remarketing to those that come to your website but do not fill out a lead form.

Step 3 – Expand

  1. Expand your keyword roster, match types, and campaign settings.
  2. Once you have a profitable campaign running in Google, expand to Bing and Yahoo with Bing ads – simply duplicate what you did in Google.
  3. Once that is profitable, expand to Facebook & LinkedIn display advertising.

This covers the most basic parts of paid search management, but doing it will surely move your business forward with a sound local marketing strategy for paid search.

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