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I have a confession. But let me explain. It was Mardi Gras, and I’d never had vodka before, and I was out of beads. Oh. No wait. Different confession. For the first few weeks of my employment at Blue Corona, when people would talk about pay per click, I thought they were saying “paper click.” That’s about how much I know about PPC. But that doesn’t mean you won’t learn anything from this blog post, because I spent at least an hour GRILLING the members of our amazing PPC team at Blue Corona on all of their PPC secrets. I even recorded it on my old school tape recorder with its tiny answering-machine sized cassette tape.
Reduce Cost Per Lead with Geo-Qualified PPC
According to our PPC team, the two most frequently asked questions they receive from clients about pay per click are:
- How do I get more leads?
- How do I reduce my cost per lead?
Fortunately, we can make things easier than a freshman girl at a frat party for you by answering both of these questions with one answer:
Geo-qualified PPC campaigns.
What is a geo-qualified PPC campaign?
A geo-qualified PPC campaign incorporates keywords with geo-specific modifiers. A keyword would be “liquor store.” (FYI—PPC advertising for alcohol is highly regulated. This is actually a terrible example to use, but, I like to make my boss think I’m an alcohol enthusiast.) A geo-specific keyword would be “liquor store in maryand” or “gaithersburg liquor store.” You can create a geo-qualified PPC campaign by making a list of the keywords and adding geo-specific modifiers to each of those keywords. The modifiers can be cities, states, or even zipcodes. We recommend all three! If you think this sounds really time consuming, call us—we’ve got fancy schmancy Internet marketing software that does it for us.
What are the benefits of geo-qualified PPC campaigns?
A lot of our clients are home service businesses (flooring, hvac, plumbing, remodeling, roofing, etc.) that service a specific geographic area – say 50 miles around Denver. If you own this type of business, think about how your potential customers are using search engines—they are most likely using a geo-specific modifier. Although Google has gotten better at recognizing a searcher’s location (even if they don’t use a geographic modifier), if I were to search for “liquor store” without the use of a geo-specific modifier, the results would likely not be the same. Instead of finding my local source for Everclear, the results I’d see probably wouldn’t be what I was searching for at all—and I would probably go thirsty.
Some businesses can surely benefit from broader keywords, but for most local businesses, geo-qualified PPC campaigns are extremely important for quality leads at a lower cost. For most home services companies, your services aren’t going to benefit someone several states away. Targeting only the cities, counties, states, and zip codes you serve with your PPC campaign will help you generate more relevant traffic—which will ultimately help you increase your account’s Quality Score, lower your bounce rate, increase online conversions, and get more qualified leads from the Web. By limiting your PPC advertising to a defined geographic area, you can focus your marketing budget on the areas that matter most to you—this is extremely ideal for small businesses with small marketing budgets. In general, the more focused the keyword, the more qualified the traffic.
Additionally, geo-qualified PPC campaigns contain all the benefits of PPC advertising. Specifically, geo-qualified PPC campaigns do not interrupt your target audience. Rather, they place your message directly in front of your target audience after they’ve expressed interest in the services you offer through a Web search. Depending on your business and industry, PPC advertising can also be more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods like mailers, billboards, and yellow page ads.
Finally, geo-qualified PPC campaigns can get you quick results—unlike search engine optimization campaigns, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to deliver the desired results. (Although I must add, a geo-qualified PPC campaign in combination with a geo-targeted SEO campaign? That’s like buttering your bacon—absolutely never a bad idea.)
Geo-Qualified PPC Campaign Tips
One of the most important things you need to do when setting up a geo-qualified PPC campaign is to be careful of cities that exist in multiple states. If you own an HVAC company in Springfield, IL, targeting “heating repair Springfield” won’t do you much good—there are 35 other states in the US with a city by the name of Springfield! You can eliminate this by designing city-specific ad groups with state-specific location targeting.
Next, if you have multiple franchises, don’t try to target all of your franchises in the same campaign—this can cause the wrong location to display in your ad. Instead, create a different campaign for each location and set separate location radii for each one to focus on the areas surrounding that location.
Finally, consider the Web page your paid traffic lands on. Is it the most relevant page for the search? Does it have a clear call to action? There’s no use in driving a bunch of paid traffic to a landing page that fails to convert.
Build a Geo-Qualified PPC Campaign
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About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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