How to Use SEM For a Small-Scale Business in a Localized Area

August 21, 2019

Most small businesses will face the decision of what marketing channels to utilize to help grow their business. In this blog we will discuss how these businesses can use search engine marketing (SEM) to market to a local area using various methods available in Google Ads and  Decide Your Campaign Goal Microsoft Advertising. Below are some steps to take and features to utilize to do so:

It’s important for businesses to define their campaign goals with SEM marketing. For many small businesses, their goal is to generate leads, whether that be a website visit, a form fill or purchase on their website, or a call. The campaign goal must be well-defined and measurable in order to track the success of the campaign. 

Set up Lead or Conversion Tracking

Once you have defined your business goal, you will need to implement tracking of those goals.

If your goals are tied to your website, you will need to implement tracking on your website to tracking those goals, whether that be through Analytics or conversion tracking through Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising.

If your goals are tied to tracking calls to your business, you will need to instrument call tracking via Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising. Many businesses will utilize a third party call tracking service such as Call Tracking Metrics to the source of the call, the duration of the call, caller phone numbers, call recordings and more!

If your goals are tied to store visits, you will need to find a method to link store visits to your SEM marketing campaign. Some businesses will feature special promo codes in their ads for customers to use in-store.

Call Extensions

If generating calls from potential leads are important for your business, you would need to utilize call extensions so that potential customers that see your ad on mobile can call your business directly. It is advised to use a dedicated phone number for your SEM campaigns to help you determine which of your calls came via an SEM ad. You can set up a dedicated phone number via a third party tracking service.

Location Targeting

Setting a target radius is important in SEM to ensure your ads are targeting the areas of interest to your business. Most platforms will allow you to set a target radius of an area starting at 1km. 

It is also important to add location negatives to your campaign to ensure your ads are not showing for geolocations that are not of interest to your campaign to avoid spending on clicks that will likely not convert. Google allows you to adjust your location targeting method to target or exclude people who have been in or shown interest in your target location, people in or are regularly in your target location and people searching for your target location. More details on these options are shown below:

Keyword Targeting and Ads

Keyword targeting and relevant ad copy are crucial for your ads to show in response to search queries relevant to your business and to attract potential leads to click on your ads. What would someone in need of your business services search for? How would you prepare your ad copy to be relevant to your keywords and to attract leads to click on your ad?

Ad Scheduling

Small businesses in the service sector will most likely want their ads to run during their business operating hours so they receive leads during operating hours. It would be a less efficient use of ad spend if a lead tried to visit or contact your business and find that your business is closed. Be sure to schedule your ads to run during the times when your business will be available to respond to messages and phone calls.

More Information on SEM

These are just a few of the various ways that a small service-sector business can use SEM in a localized area to market their business. You can find out more information on using SEM for your business in our blog on how to supercharge your local business with paid search.