Google Ads

6 March 2023

Matt Rees

Leveraging Local Advertising for Online Brands

Using Google’s location targeting to take your advertising to the next level.

Location targeting is a must when advertising for businesses with brick-and mortar stores, but can often be overlooked when dealing with predominantly online businesses.

Targeting your entire country/region with the same ad, and the same landing page, whilst assuming the results and user behaviour will be the same isn’t logical. We believe that segmenting your targeting, ad copy and landing pages by location is a sure-fire way to drive up conversion rates. There are a number of reasons why:

  1. Efficiency – All locations are not equal. Areas vary wildly in terms of wealth, demographics, politics, and many other factors. It follows on that the value of conversions will not be equal between locations either. As a result, splitting out locations will help with budget allocation and target setting. In theory, most advertising platforms will apportion traffic to locations based on one overriding target. However, this only applies when a business has a single objective, which is not that common.
  2. Brand Awareness – Click-through rates and conversion rates will inevitably be lower in regions where a brand is less known. This creates an opportunity to grow the brand in specific areas with messaging targeted to users in the discovery phase. Conversely, spend could be pulled in these areas to focus on short-term performance.
  3. Ad Relevancy – Inserting locations into ad copy will increase ad relevancy and boost engagement. At a basic level, key locations can be split out manually and inserted into headlines, descriptions and other content.


Taking Localisation Further

In Google Ads, dynamic location parameters can be inserted into ad copy, and then pulled through to landing pages, meaning messaging can be customised throughout the user journey. In our experience, there is a use case for testing this for all businesses:

  1. Brick-and-Mortar Stores – The most straight forward use would be for brick-and-mortar stores. Showing the user their nearest store, its opening times, and directions means multiple steps in the online journey can be removed.
  2. Online Lead Generation – Businesses without physical locations can still benefit from localised copy on their landing pages. This can take the form of relevant statistics to the area e.g. “We’ve sold 56 houses in BS5 this month”, local business testimonials, or area specific headlines e.g. “Financial Advisors in Birmingham”. Developing trust for an entirely online service can be difficult, but adding local information will help.
  3. Ecommerce – Arguably the type of business where location specific language is least relevant is ecommerce. However, there are a few cases where location specific landing pages should be tested. For example, delivery offerings. If the delivery service is particularly good in certain areas, shout about it. Secondly, there may be some specific cases where location has a bearing on suggested products, or even available products for delivery.


A Final Note

If you are implementing location targeting and messaging across your digital offering, there are a few keys things to remember. Firstly, make sure everything you track about the user is compliant with GDPR and relevant cookie laws. For localised landing pages, always A/B test against a control page first, and ensure you have backup headlines if dynamic parameters fail to pull through. Finally, don’t be creepy – Localisation is great, but not everyone wants to know how many steps your business is from their front door!

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