Crafting a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign can be quite the arduous task. You have to consider who you're targeting, whether you're selling an individual product or the business itself and, of course, how you can stay within budgetary constraints. However, with so much to consider, you may be glossing over one of the most important components of a campaign to generate SEM leads: local keywords.
Getting Your Message to the Right Audience
If you're running a small plumbing business in central Florida, it wouldn't make sense to solely use wide-ranging key phrases like "busted pipe" or "clogged toilet" in your marketing. Though these topics are indicative of your services, they may attract a consumer from Tallahassee, even though you primarily operate around Orlando. When this happens, the customer will continue searching, and the money you spent reaching the prospect will be wasted.
By adding location to your key phrases, you can ensure that your business is connecting with the right audience and that your website is generating useful SEM leads. However, Search Engine Land explains that local search engine efforts are quite different from regular SEO, and if you want to get maximum value from your budget, you have to approach local SEO the right way.
Do Your Research
If your plumbing business is located in Lakeland — a small suburb of Orlando — your first reaction might be to use key phrases like "Lakeland plumber" and "Orlando plumber" to ramp up SEM leads. These are a great place to start, but it's important to do some research to figure out what other phrases people in your region are searching. For instance, Winter Springs is a densely populated suburb of Orlando, and while your business might not be located in this town, the phrase "Winter Springs plumber" might have a higher search volume than your other location-based topics. If this is the case, adding a Winter Springs-specific keyword to your list is likely a good way to drum up business in this area. Doing research will also help you decide whether you want to use narrow, neighborhood-based keywords or expand your horizons to larger regions.
Purchase Intent and Efficiency
According to Search Engine Land, research has shown that customers who conduct local searches are often ready to act on their findings. The source noted that 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search via their phone visited a store within the next day, and 34 percent of customers who conducted these searches from a computer or tablet did the same. These statistics show that consumers who search for specific local keywords convert at a faster pace, and local businesses would be remiss not to take advantage of that fact. An SEM campaign with strong local key phrases could elevate your business to the next level, so make sure you are taking full advantage of the SEM opportunities that are available to you.
While it can take weeks or even months to plan a local SEM campaign, the time and energy is well worth the effort, as the leads generated from this type of campaign are often consumers who are ready to patronize your business.