Google is a globe-encircling titan of the internet, so it’s interesting that the world’s homepage is putting a lot of focus on making its services more localised. This should be good news for small businesses who want to use pay per click (PPC) advertising effectively.
Google announced in November that its city-level targeting for AdWords would be rolled out to nine new countries, meaning that advertisers in 43 countries can now target their ads to specific cities.
The buzzword for this is Geo-targeting, which is something small businesses have been doing naturally and with no need for new terminology for centuries.
If you’re offering a product or service that can only be delivered in one or two locations then geo-targeting is essential if you’re not to waste money online. A Edinburgh window cleaner who cycles on his rounds doesn’t want to pop up when a man with dirty windows in Eastbourne goes online looking for a wash and wipe.
But as well as putting necessary limits on your marketing, localised PPC can help to expand your business.
By targeting your PPC at new areas and customising your AdWords content – bear in mind languages and currencies – you can even find customers who don’t even speak the same language as you.
Setting up a new website for each new territory is expensive and fraught with problems. This sort of targeted PPC however, can give the illusion of international reach – and crucially, local sensitivity – without that hassle. Simply translating ads into different languages for different users, which with this level of targeting you can now do, will at the very least reduce waste spend showing incomprehensible ads.
If you’re thinking of growing into a new territory then this city-level targeting provides a great way to test the waters without ending up with just a few orders which are costly to deliver and may not lead to a sustainable expansion.
This is particularly the case if it’s a whole new country you’ve got your eyes on. Pick a couple of test markets to gauge the interest in your product without wasting paid clicks.
The green campaigners used to ask us to ‘think global and act local’ but as it has so many times before, Google has turned this maxim on its head.
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