The catch is that while local advertising may not be as lucrative, it’s often perceived as easier and less expensive than national advertising. Subsequently, most small business “start small” with local campaigns and then expand to a wider market once they have PPC figured out… or at least that’s the plan.
In my experience, one of the following things typically happens instead:
- A poorly planned or executed local approach discourages a planned future launch in a larger market
- Successful local efforts aren’t modified before being launched nationally, resulting in budget waste and poor performance
- Time constraints cause expansion efforts to be put off indefinitely
Before you start paid search locally or nationally, plan for how you’ll win at both!
Structuring your PPC account to plan for local and national focuses from the start will save time later and make both more effective in the long-run.
Create separate campaigns based on geography. If you want to keep it simple, you can make one national campaign and one local campaign, or you can segment your efforts further. But don’t make more campaigns than are necessary! Ensure that for every campaign you create, there’s a reason for doing so.
Only make different campaigns for each time zone or local zip code if you need a materially different marketing strategy in each territory. Nationally this may mean focusing on seasonal variations, demographic differences, or cultural perceptions with your ad text and keywords in different regions. Locally this may mean advertising different services that are available based on zip code, city, or county.
• Budget Allocation
Another reason to separate efforts is to more effectively control where your budget will be spent. Grouping local and national marketing into one campaign means that they will compete for ad spend dollars (typically pulling money away from local efforts to be used on the national scale). By creating different campaigns, you can allocate your budget as you see fit to ensure positive ROI.
While the mechanics of advertising locally and nationally are important, developing a catered approach for each is just as vital.
Local and national advertising tend to require different levels of ongoing maintenance. Often, national advertising necessitates more oversight because of the amplified competition and increased click costs. This doesn’t mean that you can take a “set it and forget it” approach to your local advertising, but it does mean that you’ll likely have to wait longer for enough data to make substantial changes.
Don’t spin your wheels wasting precious time or budget! Focusing your efforts on the areas of your account that need the most oversight is the best way to ensure that your advertising will provide a positive ROI.
Ultimately, both local and national advertising should produce additional revenue. However, the road to get there can look very different. The only way to gauge the effectiveness of your advertising is to select and monitor the KPIs that are customized to your specific goals for each. This may mean focusing on KPIs like calls for your local advertising and order totals for your national advertising. Whatever these KPIs look like, track their changes over time and compare them to historical figures to get a sense of how your current efforts are stacking up. Set goals and make the budget and strategy changes needed to achieve them across both all focus areas.
Effective national marketing may necessitate the use of different channels like remarketing ads and product listing ads (PLAs) to supplement your text ads. If you decide to utilize various avenues, ensure that they’re segmented in a way that will allow you to monitor their effectiveness compared to your traditional text ads. This will provide the clean data needed to make strategic decisions to improve your efforts moving forward.
Need a PPC expert in your corner? Contact us to find out how we can manage your local and national PPC efforts. We provide customized solutions at an affordable price to businesses in Michigan and nationwide.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!