There is marketing, beyond Google Adwords!

In Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing, Google AdWords expert Perry Marshall and lead generation expert Talor Zamir introduce you to the basic framework behind a successful local marketing campaign. In this edited excerpt, Marshall and Zamir offer tips to get the most out of your local advertising efforts.  

Once you’ve increased your AdWords budget and are maxing out what you can spend on your initial campaign, how do you scale up? How can you get more clicks and leads and take your campaign to the next level where you’re really bringing in lots of leads on a daily basis and are maxing out your full potential of what you can get from PPC? That’s exactly the question we’re going to answer now.

When you’re ready to scale, the first place we suggest looking is Bing Ads. Bing Ads is Microsoft’s version of AdWords, except the ads will run on both the Bing and Yahoo! search engines.

While they’re not Google, the concept is still the same. It’s still someone doing a specific search for your service. Going to Yahoo! and Bing is the next closest thing to Google AdWords, and that’s why it’s the first step we recommend when scaling up. Because Bing and Yahoo! get about 30 percent of search traffic, we typically find that you can get 30 percent more traffic by adding Bing Ads to your marketing mix.

While there’s substantially less traffic compared to Google, there’s also less competition, so click costs tend to be lower on Bing Ads. Between the lower click costs and solid conversion rates, we’ve had clients get a cost per conversion in Bing Ads that’s one-half to one-third what it is on AdWords. That said, because of the traffic levels and total number of conversions available, we prefer to always start with Google and then expand to Bing Ads later on.

Microsoft knows that Google AdWords is the 800-pound gorilla in the space and has made Bing Ads very similar to AdWords. And they’ve made it extremely easy to copy your AdWords campaign over to Bing Ads. In fact, once you create a Bing Ads account, there’s a place where you can log into your AdWords account and directly import it into Bing Ads.

We do have a few tips/words of caution when importing your AdWords campaigns into Bing, however. First, double-check the geo-targeting settings in your campaign before you import it into Bing. Depending on how you’re targeting the geographic areas your ads run in, those settings may not copy over to Bing Ads correctly. And if Bing Ads doesn’t recognize the geo-targeting settings, they’ll be reset to the default, which shows ads in the entire U.S. and Canada.

Second, Bing Ads defaults to showing ads on its “Search network,” including Bing and Yahoo! as well as “syndicated search partners.” We’ve found Bing’s “syndicated search partners” traffic to be of very low quality and don’t recommend you have ads running there. You should change this from the default option to the “Bing and Yahoo! search (owned and operated) only” option, so your ads only show up on Bing and Yahoo!

Adding more keywords

The next thing to consider to expand your campaign and get more leads is to add more keywords. If you started with a very targeted list of keywords and are happy with the results, this would be the time to start adding some new keywords that may be a little broader than your original choices.

This applies to match types where if you just started with exact match and phrase match keywords, you could now expand to broad match modifier keywords. It also applies to the actual keywords in your campaign. An example is a chiropractor who started their campaign with keywords that specifically mention “chiropractor” and “chiropractic” in them. That’s smart because you know that people typing in keywords that contain “chiropractor” or “chiropractic” in them are specifically looking for a chiropractor. You don’t have to convince those people they need a chiropractor. But if things are going well in your campaign, you could start testing some new, broader words like “back pain treatment Reno” or “spinal decompression” and see if you get conversions from them.

Another example would be for a plumber who started their campaign focusing on keywords that contained phrases like “plumber” or “plumbing contractor.” Once things are going well, they could consider expanding to keywords like “leaky toilet” and “water heater replacement.”

Once your core keywords are working and you’re getting a good cost per conversion on them, it’s time to start experimenting with additional keyword variations in your campaign. Some may not convert well, but keep testing and you should be able to find additional keywords that will help you expand your campaign profitably.

Expand your geo-targeting  

Another option for scaling your campaign is to expand the geographic radius by an additional five or 10 miles and see if it’s profitable. Or if you had only selected a few specific cities and ZIP codes, add more to your campaign and see if you can attract prospects that live further away.

In fact, depending on your business and how far away you can work with clients, you could potentially target the entire metro area where your business is located or even your entire state. A plumbing company who has to physically go to a client’s home should only advertise in the areas they serve. However, a law firm that’s licensed statewide and can work with clients largely over the phone could potentially advertise statewide.