When you hear experts preach the gospel of local SEO, they’re often praising a mixture of on-page and off-page tactics that result in natural rankings. The organic approach always makes a fine option for the simple that it’s cheap (often free) and works incredibly well. With that said, local businesses should not dismiss the value of going the premium route. That’s right. I’m talking about PPC advertising.
If you’ve got the budget and could use the added visibility, paid search is a viable option to consider. Below I have outlined seven ways it can help your local business.
1. Deliver Instant Results
Despite what an aggressive SEO agency might tell you, search engine optimization is not a game of overnight success. The blogs and websites that consistently rank high in Google for multiple keywords — many of them are riding on years of hard work that finally paid off. PPC campaigns are generally easy to set up and deliver fast results. It is possible to see a huge traffic surge mere hours after deploying your campaign.
2. Increase Visibility
Local search grows more competitive by the day, which makes gaining a top spot in the SERPs an increasingly difficult chore. Even with all your hard work in creating solid content, building links, and convincing customers to leave feedback through review channels, there is no guaranteeing where your site will be positioned. Paid search can ensure that your site pops up in the results on the first page, and the better you are at it, the more visibility you create.
3. Boost Company Revenues
Some companies have a regular budget allocated to PPC advertising. These businesses have unlocked the secrets of using it to open another active revenue stream. Paid search is a proven way to create more exposure for new products, sales, events, and other elements that generate revenue. Behind a compelling call to action in your ad, an optimized landing page can be key in driving those prosperous conversions.
4. Align with Existing SEO Efforts
One of the most effective marketing strategies you can employ is one that involves mixing and matching different channels. Integrating your PPC campaigns with organic SEO efforts is a perfect example of this. Just think of the impact you could make if sponsored results are driving in additional traffic on top of the flow you’ve created from your long time optimization efforts.
5. Provide Access to Affordable Advertising
For years, local businesses have been relying on traditional advertising channels such as TV, radio, and newspaper to increase buzz and traffic. While these methods have worked for some, they are generally expensive and for others, questionable in terms of effectiveness. Paid search offers an affordable alternative to traditional advertising. In most cases, you can set your own budget and literally spend only what you’re able to afford on a day-to-day basis.
6. Create an Edge Over the Competition
A little competition is good, but you want to be on the favorable side more often than not. If you get behind too much, you could eventually find yourself out of business. Indulging in paid search advertising is essentially another way to distance your business from its competitors. It might not be a huge edge, but every visitor, subscriber, and customer that the campaign sends your way contributes to an edge you didn’t have over the competition before.
7. Support Local Initiatives
Search advertising platforms have advanced in ways that make them far more useful to digital marketers. A prime example of this can be seen in their rich targeting capabilities. Google AdWords, for instance, allows you to customize your PPC campaigns to specifically target search users in your area. This particular platform offers tools that let you craft your ads based on local criteria such as city, state, or ZIP code, ensuring that you target the right audience.
Keeping an Open and Opportunistic Mind
Most local businesses are small to medium-sized companies with very little extra cash to spare. However, marketing is one expense that can be considered a necessity. If you want decent to good returns, you have to make investments that give you something back. So if you’re writing off paid search, this is the part where I go: “Not so fast!”. Combined with what you’re doing currently, it can be highly effective at helping maximize your visibility and make the most of your overall efforts.
What do you guys think about integrating PPC into local marketing strategies? Is it worth the investment? Let us know below.
Chiko Noguchi is a best practices activist and advocate for a leading provider of email marketing services.