Local Business Online Advertising Tips
During my more than 18 year career, I’ve met with numerous local businesses owners who were interested in trying Google Ads, Facebook Ads or some other online advertising platform. Many of these business owners were overwhelmed by the options available, the technology associated with each option and had no idea where to start. Here are some tips to help you figure out a starting point for advertising your local business online:
Figure out what you hope to achieve with online ads. There are different types of ads for accomplishing different things. If you want to spread the word about your existence, a strategy focused on getting impressions would work. An impression is a view. If your ad gets one view that view equals one impression. A CPM, or cost per thousand impressions, campaign would require you to pay some set amount per 1,000 impressions.
If you are more interested in conversions, you would set up a CPA campaign, or Cost Per Acquisition. With a CPA strategy, you pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad and does what you want them to do (fills out a form on your site for example).
All of the major online advertising platforms have tools that let you target specific geographic regions. I usually target counties with my locally-focused ads. Targeting ads to a specific geographic region will ensure they only show up in front of potential customers in that region. If you primarily serve a specific county you can easily target that county. You can also target zip codes, states and metropolitan areas, just to name a few options.
Start with a small budget and then increase it as you learn the ropes. Learn how things work and let the data collected help you fine tune your strategy. A big investment doesn’t always equate to a big return on investment.
Think Like Your Customers/Clients
When customers search for your products or services they all usually enter similar search terms (aka, keywords) into their search engine of choice. For example, if you sell New York Style pizza in South Florida, it would be a good strategy to use the keywords “New York Style” and “pizza” in your ad while targeting residents of counties in Southern Florida, because potential customers will probably run their search using those terms and you want to target that region. There are a lot of helpful tools available from Google and many other companies designed to help you figure out what people are searching for in your target areas based on historic search data .
I hope these tips will help you find a place to get started with online ads. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions.
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