Proven Local PPC Advertising Secrets




Attracting new customers who are ready to buy can be a very challenging task. Fortunately, local PPC can help local businesses grow very effectively when done correctly.

Pay-per-click lets you target customers who are looking for your products or services at a specific time and location. Whether you own a startup or a multi-million dollar company, a national or local PPC campaign is an effective strategy to help you hit your goals.

Speaking of national and local PPC, is there a difference? Well, let's find out...

Local PPC vs. National PPC

Knowing the difference between a local and a national pay per click campaign is a MUST! All marketers must know the difference if they want to succeed in their PPC advertising campaigns.

Here are a few important things to note:

In Terms of Scope...

The most notable difference between these two strategies is the target area.

A local PPC campaign targets customers in a specific geographic area like a city or zip code while a national PPC campaign targets customers in a country.

The money required to run an effective national PPC campaign is also significantly higher than running a local PPC campaign.

In Terms of Keyword Strategies...

The keyword selection and bidding process can be different for a local PPC and a national PPC campaign.

A Local PPC campaign may use keywords that focus on a specific location. For example, state, city, or even zip code.


A National PPC campaign will use keywords that focus on a broader scale. For example, a country like the United States.

The cost of bidding for keywords is more competitive, meaning more expensive, on a national campaign since more brands may be bidding on the same keywords for that area. Local campaigns are potentially cheaper because the competition can be less.

Whatever PPC campaign you choose, remember that the variation in competing bids may significantly affect the cost per click.

In Terms of Industry...

The nature of a business is a huge consideration in choosing whether to launch a national or a local PPC campaign.

Local service businesses and local retail businesses are more likely to utilize local PPC as part of their online advertising plan while huge eCommerce companies are typically better suited towards national PPC.

For example, it would be a complete waste of money for a local landscaping business based in Denver, CO to launch a national campaign. The relevance of most of their ads would be ZERO because they'd be reaching people outside of the area they service. Instead, they might target a keyword like "landscaper" and limit their ads to only people located in Denver.

However, an eCommerce company selling socks would likely target shoppers across the US because it makes no difference where their customers are located.

Pretty simple, right?

A business focused on local customers must always target locally. Local businesses are better off launching a local PPC campaign instead of a national one unless the nature of the business fits all types of customers in any location.

In Terms of Results...

Both national and local PPC strategies yield awesome results when done properly. To get the best return on investment, always consider your campaign objectives and target audience when choosing between these strategies.

Now let's look at some tips to make your local PPC campaigns more effective...

Awesome Tips for Optimizing your Local PPC Campaigns

Your local PPC campaigns will never be a set it and forget it type of deal. You should always be testing to find even incremental ways to improve your results.

Here are 10 effective tips to improve your local pay-per-click results:

1. Monitor Your Spending

Most small businesses have a set PPC budget that can max out pretty quickly, especially if you are trying to compete in the national PPC space.

In order to make your local PPC efforts profitable, it's important to focus on your most profitable products and services. Why?

Because it will allow you to be more competitive. The business that wins the local PPC battle is the one who can afford to pay the most.

When you can outspend your competitors and still remain profitable you win and your competitors can't compete.

For this reason, it's important to focus on your most profitable products or services for your local PPC campaigns and monitor your spending.

2. Use Google Search Console

Google Search Console Query Sample

Google Search Console Query Results - In this example, you can see the keyword "quotes on importance of school" has 3181 impressions with 399 clicks.

Google Search Console can be a great way to identify keywords and ad groups for your AdWords campaigns.

Use Google Search Console to identify the most popular keywords your website is generating traffic from. Then, keeping in mind #1 above compare those keywords with your most profitable products/services.

If a keyword is profitable and getting a lot of impressions, but is not getting a lot of clicks then you might want to create an ad group specifically for that keyword.

3. Niche Down on Locations

Try to niche down into the smallest local area possible that makes sense for your ads (city, zip code, etc).

For example, rather than creating one ad for Douglas County, create ads for each city in Douglas County (Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, etc.). If your budget won't allow you to market to each city then pick the number of cities your budget can handle.

This will allow you to compare your results by city and focus on the cities where you are seeing the best return. It also allows you to create local copy for your ads...

4. Create Local Copy for Your Ads

Another tip for optimizing a local PPC campaign is to be more locally relevant with your ad copy.

When you niche down on locations (see #3 above), you can create hyper-relevant ad copy to people in that specific area. The more relevant you can make your ad copy the better engagement and conversion you will see.

For example, let's say I am running some Facebook ads for my roofing company. If I start my ad copy with "Highlands Ranch just experienced an incredible hail storm, is your roof OK?" it can really grab a persons attention when they live in that specific area.

Make sense?

Take advantage of location information in your titles and other ad copy. Going hyper-local means higher click-through rates and higher conversion rates. This also translates into better pricing in a lot of online advertising platforms.

5. Use Local Landing Pages

This tip piggybacks on #3 & #4 above. If your online ads are sending people to a landing page make sure you've got a landing page to match the local content in your ad.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with landing pages is not matching the copy and design to the original ad. Wouldn't you be a little lost if you clicked on an ad for Castle Rock residents and ended up on a landing page with messaging for Denver Metro residents?

You want to make sure the messaging and design is consistent from ad to landing page in order to maximize conversions.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

6. Use Local Information in Ad URLs

In many online advertising platforms, you have options for the URL that displays in the ad and the actual URL where clicks on the ad will be sent.

Adding location-specific information for both the display and ad URL can be really effective. If your ad is niched down to city or zip code then make sure you have that info in the URLs. 

7. Use Call Tracking

If phone numbers are used with the specific online advertising platform you are using I would highly recommend using call tracking software.

This will allow you to track which ads are performing best and actually creating results for you. Without call tracking software there will be no way for you to know which ads are generating the most phone calls.

Another benefit of most call tracking software is call recording. By monitoring incoming calls you can see how well incoming calls are being handled and make any necessary tweaks with your team to improve your conversions from incoming phone calls.

8. Don't Neglect Remarketing

How would you like to reach people who have visited your website or specific pages on your website? With remarketing, you can do just that.

AdWords and Facebook Advertising both have remarketing capabilities. People that have already visited your website have a much higher likelihood of doing business with you than someone who hasn't.

Local businesses should definitely have a portion of their local PPC budget allocated to remarketing campaigns. They can be a great way to re-engage someone who has expressed interest in your business.

9. Don't Forget Mobile

Many local customers aren't seeing your ads on a desktop computer, they're out and about on their mobile device.

Make sure that:

  • Your campaigns target all devices. 
  • Your ads are being served to mobile devices. 
  • You have a mobile-optimized ad experience.

Mobile devices are not going anywhere so a mobile-friendly ad campaign will expand your reach.

10. Test, Test and Test Some More...

Finally, when your ads are running, you need to ensure that they will deliver the desired results. How do you do this? Test, test, and test some more...

By testing, you will learn what's working and what's not, which will allow you to consistently make incremental improvements in the results of your campaigns.  

Use A/B testing techniques to discover which ads perform better and make adjustments to your strategy when needed.

That's it! That's our list of proven local PPC advertising tips that you can apply to your own campaigns.

If you found this article helpful, then you might enjoy these additional resources:

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear from you.

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Are you looking for more solid local marketing tips and tricks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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