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Running an AdWords Campaign in a Competitive Local Market

June 11, 2015

If you run a local business in a competitive market (and whose market isn’t competitive these days), it’s essential to set your AdWords campaigns up in a particular way for local online marketing.

You will need to set up a minimum of two different campaigns, and sometimes four. Why is this? Let’s look at an example for a plumber from Swindon, in the UK.

The first campaign will be set up with general keywords. Examples are:

  • Plumber
  • Local plumber
  • Plumbers
  • Emergency plumbers
  • Local plumbers
  • 24 hour plumbers

The best practice in order to get high Quality Scores, hence a cheaper Cost Per Click (CPC), is to add each of these keywords in their own ad group, with ads containing these specific keywords.

You will then set this campaign to run ONLY within the Swindon area. You can do this by navigating to Settings and under Location and Languages, selecting Location.

A map should now open. Choose the tab marked Search and enter the name of the town Swindon. Tick the box of the relevant area and Google should now show you on the map where the ads will run.

Local PPC

You now need to decide whether to run your ads only on computers, or on web-enabled mobile telephones, or both. My advice is to set up identical campaigns, one of which will run on computers only, and the second on web-enabled phones. This is to allow you to monitor the performance of each separately, and increase or decrease bids on the two different sets of devices. A mobile searcher may also be far more likely to convert, so you may wish to increase bids. You may also find less competition as many advertisers are only advertising on computers.

To enable the campaign only on Computers, in Settings go to Networks and Devices and then select Computers.

You can now choose to set up a second campaign with identical ads and keywords, instead enabling it for iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers. The fastest way to do this is by using a tool such as the AdWords Editor, copying and pasting the first campaign, and then changing the settings.

Your next campaign will be a National Campaign running across the entire country. You will add keywords such as:

  • Swindon Plumber
  • Plumber in Swindon
  • Emergency plumber in Swindon
  • 24 hour Plumber Swindon

The key here is that each keyword must include the name of the town. You can add additional detail by also adding districts, such as “Lydiard,” for example:

  • Lydiard Plumber
  • Lydiard Plumbers
  • Plumber in Lydiard

Be careful when adding districts, regions or cities that there are not identically named ones elsewhere in the country, as is often the case!

Once again, add one ad group for each keyword with at least one PPC ad containing these keywords for best performance and cheapest CPC.

The advantage of this new campaign is that it will be picked up outside of Swindon, perhaps by friends or family carrying out a search for the person needing a plumber, or perhaps for a head office seeking a local plumber for a sub-office.

Once again, adding in an additional identical campaign for just web-enabled mobile devices will be of great benefit here.

I’ve attached a screenshot showing the excellent click-through rates acquired for one client utilizing this method, varying from 5% to as high as 19.57%. 

Local AdWords

MORE: 7 Tips for Super-Effective Local PPC

About the Author

Claire Jarrett runs Marketing By Web, a UK-based specialist in PPC management and AdWords training for SMEs.