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Geotargeting your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign in order to find local customers for your small business is really quite easy to do. There are many PPC systems to consider, but when it comes to pinpointing geotargeting at the search system control panel level, the choice really boils down to Google AdWords.

To attract purely local customers through PPC, you need to target them on a local basis. This is where geographical targeting, or geotargeting, comes in. With the Google AdWords PPC program you can focus down to city level. This means that only people searching Google in the particular city you choose to display your ads in will see your ad. Those searching Google and using the exact same keyword in another city will not see your ad.

This works well, but only to a point. Suppose someone visiting New York on the weekend is searching from his or her hometown of Chicago on Monday morning, trying to find a place that does limousine car hire in New York. There may be several such places to be found in their search, but suppose you had used AdWords with geotargeting for just New York. The person searching from Chicago would not see your ad.

There is a workaround to this situation, however. Marketing through local searches, or searches by people who are remote, but want to know the local situation elsewhere, needs one vital element in order to succeed: keyword lists that are targeted to the local area only.

Keywords that would normally be used in a global PPC campaign can, in many cases, be modified for use successfully and used in geotargeting. For example, the keyword phrase, “limousine car hire,” becomes, “limousine car hire in New York,” if that is the area you are curious about. It really can be as simple as that.

This means that you have a choice about how you conduct your PPC campaign. It also means that you are not necessarily tied to Google AdWords, as any competent PPC search system can have geotargeted keywords plugged in to make what you are targeting totally obvious. Of course, you can, and probably should, use both techniques together to eliminate any doubt. The customers you can expect to find as a result will be exactly those you are seeking.

If you are geotargeting your PPC campaign to find local customers for your small business, there are several things you should bear in mind from the outset. They may seem obvious, but perhaps not to everyone. The first thing you should consider is whether or not your goods or service is deliverable. It presumably will be if you are targeting a small local area, but sometimes people don’t properly think this point through.

You also need to ask yourself, if there is a limit to the area where your goods or service can be delivered? And if so, can you define it exactly? In this way you will know precisely how you can conduct business and to what extent.

When geotargeting keywords, you should start off with a general keyword phrase that already gets a lot of searches, if possible. Adding a specific city name to a keyword will lower the amount of searches it gets. If the search amount is already low before you add a city name, the resultant keyword phrase may not get any searches at all. Always check and re-check your keywords before mounting any PPC campaign, especially a geotargeted PPC campaign where you are focusing on the local market for your small business.

Caroline
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