First I need to get the admission out of the way, I was wrong and I never gave this enough thought. I’m very sorry and going to put it right and this blog is step one of my restitution.
I was never a big advocate of Google AdWords and would often see it as a cop-out for poor SEO, I think a big part of my annoyance with the whole paying to be at the top stems from my time at the MOD when I would continually get frustrated by the RAF web team paying for their Paid Ads to be above their organic results.
That still goes on today but at least they have learnt a small lesson and their Ad no longer contains the same Title and Description of their site (Google ‘RAF’ and see their paid Ad above their top result).
What Changed My Mind
I’ve been working on the AdWords campaign for Beauty Boulevard (Glitter Lips) and we started with what I have coined as the £90 punt. As a Google Partner I get some very good deals and the current deal (Expires 31st March) gives you up to £90 back on a 30-day spend. To that end I set their campaign with a £3 a day budget and closely monitored the performance of the selected keywords and used the information to optimise the advert and more importantly, the user journeys within the website. The deal then matches the first-month spend in the subsequent month and as we’ve been continually optimising the site the ROI should increase as we increase the budget to a more realistic level.
While working on the campaigns I had a call from an existing customer asking if I could change her location due to her relocation. The site, Reds Hair and Nails belongs to Rebecca who is a mobile hairdresser originally from Salisbury but recently relocated to Weymouth in Dorset. My job involved the change of location and a few changes to the hours of operation and obviously the update of the location in the Google My Business page.
Rebecca is one of my first clients and I’m sure anyone in my line of business will agree, they remain important to you long after you’ve finished that project. I was concerned about getting her back to page one on Google for ‘mobile hairdresser weymouth’ having occupied the number one spot for the same search in Salisbury. Maybe AdWords could help fill the gap?
AdWords and Local Businesses
As I was in ‘AdWords mode’ I visited the possibility that we could use AdWords campaigns for local businesses that only operate within a small localised area. The solution is obvious and couldn’t be simpler to implement.
AdWords let you select the target location for your adverts and the configuration lets you select a radius around a location, you can even select by postcode area.
So we can create an advert and set it to only show when somebody within our specific area searches for our selected search terms. The system will also show results if the searcher is showing an interest in your area so my keywords +mobile +hairdresser will show up for searchers in my chosen location and if somebody outside our area searches something like ‘mobile hairdresser in Weymouth’ the advert will also show.
Once you’ve applied your location targeting you can track your ads performance by location, the more defined the locations you target the more complex those reports will be.
It may be an idea to start with a target area slightly bigger than required and then refine your targeting based on the advert performance.
Don’t Forget Location Extensions
If you’re targeting a small area we’ll assume you’re a small business and your customers next step or ‘call to action’ would be to call you or visit your shop/business. Adding a location extension to your advert adds details from your Google My Business page to the advert so a user seeing your advert on a mobile phone could also see a clickable ‘Call’ button so they can contact you.
I would see this as a better option than advertising in a local paper. Not only would the cost be similar if not lower, the advert would be shown to people who are actively seeking that service or product.