PPC Tactics For Local Businesses – Stand Out in Your Local Market

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As a small business, it is a top priority for you to increase brand awareness in the local areas you provide products or services to.

When businesses approach local PPC advertising, it’s common that they face some rough results. This can be attributed to competitive keywords and smaller audiences. This usually results in businesses paying more to get their ad to rank 1 or dealing with low CTRs. There are ways to skyrocket local PPC campaigns and increase CTRs.

Figuring out PPC for local business can be what’s holding you back from a huge boost in revenue. These tactics should help clarify exactly what you need to do to boost local performance and increase conversions.

Google Search Console and Your PPC Campaign

Search console can be your PPC campaign’s best friend. Seriously.

With search console you can discover what queries searchers use to find your website (and how many impressions each query has).

From this information you can create new ad groups (or just add keywords) that will be profitable for your service or business. Most of the times longer tail keywords will be search queries – and those always make the best keywords because of higher click-through and conversion rates :).

If you haven’t already, make sure your site is configured in the search console.

Local Ad Extensions

Make Your Callouts and Sitelinks Local

Most local businesses rely on location and call extensions to show searchers that they are local. They are great to have but there are more options to beef up your ad while still showing your local swag.

Make your site link extensions local! Instead of saying ‘About Us’ try out ‘We’re from Sacramento!’ or something along those lines. Not only will this make your ad stand out,

If you are running ads in multiple cities, make sure to make unique ad groups and extensions for each city.

Add Call Extensions

Everybody knows that call extensions are used when you want to drive phone calls for your business. But not everybody tells you this – the area code on your number matters.

If you are a local business this shouldn’t pose a problem, because you likely have a local area code.

For national businesses advertising in local areas, CTRs and conversions are SO MUCH HIGHER when you have a local area code (if what you are looking for is phone calls).

Location Targeting

Don’t forget to make sure you are targeting local areas on your location settings that are within your service area.

Your budget should be spent in areas that you can readily provide products/services to. Google even lets you target all the way down to the zip code.

Ad Scheduling and Bid Adjustments

Whether it’s where to target users, when to target users, or how to target users, local businesses’ PPC success comes from timing.

The better you are at timing your ads and aligning yourself with the local audience, the better off you will be.

If you’re a local business, proximity of searchers to your brick and mortar store can be of utmost importance. People nearby could be 10x more likely to visit your store when they are within 10 miles compared to 20 miles.

Bid adjustments can be set to spend more on clicks of searchers within that 10 mile radius, because they are more inclined to turn into sales for you.

You can also adjust bids on a device based level :).

Be Local

Leverage the local lingo and relevance to your advantage.

An advantage to being ultra local with your copy is that you can exclude ‘bad’ clicks. Your target audience has its own local language. If you can recognize and harness that in your ad copy in a way that resonates with them, you will be able to exclude clicks from people not in your target audience.

Using local jargon can also help you save some space in your ads, for example: “Sacramento” (10 characters) vs. “SacTown” (7 characters). Every character counts :).

Don’t forget to make sure imagery on your landing pages is local too. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a seemingly local ad and being directed to a totally non-local looking landing page.


If stretching your budget is a top priority for your local business’s PPC campaign, remarketing might be the answer. Budget can be a problem, we get it, but there are other ways to work with limited budgets.

Having remarketing campaigns in place allows your ads to be seen by users who have previously been to your site (and likely got there due to a local campaign).

Remarketing also allows you to bid on more general keywords effectively. This can capture users who originally clicked to your site when they were further up in the funnel and not ready to make a purchase (or other action) yet.

If you’re remarketing campaigns are running well, you should see a significantly higher CTR compared to your other campaigns. If you aren’t seeing higher CTRs, check this out.

In the end, you will be paying less to get more conversions.

Bonus: Local Inventory Ads on Google

Local inventory ads (LIAs) are a great and underused way for retailers to bridge the gap between their physical retail shelves and nearby customers searching on Google.

For local retailers to be able to turn these local online searches into in-store sales, there is considerable opportunity here. In-store items show up before online items too :).

Local searches are accelerating, so there is no better time to consider adding LIAs into your advertising campaigns.

When a shopper clicks a LIA, they are taken to a Google-hosted storefront and given the opportunity to buy the item online or get it in-store nearby.

Many shoppers do the looking online but still like to try on or see the item in person before purchasing.

LIAs can be great because they can help you stand out from other shopping ads – by giving consumers who click on them an additional pathway to purchase the product.

About the Author

Daniel Peterson

marketing director

Daniel is surprisingly good at carefully developing bulletproof marketing strategies for someone who insists on powerlifting in tights. Risky move.

After discovering his talent for data-driven PPC marketing, Daniel has dedicated himself to helping others establish and exceed their marketing goals. 

When he finishes his long day communicating client value, Daniel likes to cook and watch basketball.


InMotion Digital Marketing Agency, Marketing Director

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