Alex Gill, Co-Founder & Director at Squarestar Digital – a leading PPC agency in Essex
For local businesses, the world of digital marketing presents a number of different ways to amplify
your offering and engage with your audience.
Gone are the days where reliance on footfall, traditional marketing and good public relations
constituted to business acumen. Today, the digital landscape should play a vital role in any
marketing strategy – and it should work in tune with other marketing efforts.
One tactic which can complement wider marketing activity if used effectively is Pay Per Click, or PPC
PPC advertising does what it says on the tin. Each time an ad is clicked, the advertiser is charged a
fee. And when it comes to search engines (such as Google), advertisers bid on certain search terms
in order to be displayed higher up on a results page.
Although PPC advertising is available across a plethora of different platforms, one of the most
effective and targeted forms of PPC is via Google Search Ads.
SMEs right through to large PLCs invest large portions of their advertising budgets into Google PPC
ads. And it’s easy to see why when you consider the benefits of this kind of digital marketing.
Incredibly, 95% of clicks on Google go to the first four results on the page – three of those four links
are Google Search Ads. The reality is, people have short attention spans. They want information
quickly and they don’t want to scroll through pages and pages of results to find what they’re looking
for. Consequently, Google makes it easy for businesses and organisations to be found through PPC
But, how can PPC be leveraged for businesses who want to advertise on a local level?
Rewind the clock a few decades and an organisation may take out an advert in a local paper, or even
invest in a jingle on local radio stations. However, today 70% of consumers want to learn about a
product via online content as opposed to traditional advertising methods, meaning more people are
using search engines and looking at websites. In 2020 the digital landscape now offers a much more
effective and targeted approach to local advertising.
Did you know, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information? That’s a statistic which is
hard to ignore if you’re looking to raise your profile locally.
Take this scenario as an example – you’ve just arrived at your holiday destination, but you realise
that you’ve left your phone charger at home. What’s the first thing you do? Google a local store
which may sell chargers and click on the first link that appears. Straight away the store which utilises
PPC ads most effectively gets your business.
Or, you’re looking for a local taxi firm to give you a lift to a restaurant. You click on the first link
which pops up, and bob’s your uncle, once again you click through on the first link which pops up,
and that local taxi firm comes out on top.
Perhaps you don’t fancy cooking tonight and you just want to find your nearest take away pizza… a
quick Google search will bring up the top listings and it’s likely you’ll click on the first few links.
You get the picture.
You can be really targeted and responsive when it comes to using locations on Google PPC ads
through ‘location insertion’ – in a nutshell, including a location within your ad’s headline. This is part
of some detailed Google Ads management strategies.
However, as a leading PPC agency in the UK, time and time again we work with clients that have
simply given up on their localised PPC campaigns.
Often, we’ll work with businesses that have trialled a few different campaigns, but they have simply
not seen any return on investment.
Yet, there is a very simple solution to this…
Nine times out of ten the campaign is actually working, and generating some leads. But the business
is completely unaware of this because they are not tracking where these leads are coming from.
At the end of the day, how can you be sure that our campaigns are working, if you are not accurately
If you track your campaigns, you can be sure that you are effectively optimising them and allocating
the right budget to ensure they perform as successfully as possible. Tacking also allows you to
analyse, improve and build upon your campaigns to make them even more successful moving
From the number of impressions and the Click Through Rate (CTR), to the number of conversions
you achieve, tracking your campaigns allow you to have full transparency of how well your ads are
And don’t forget that PPC doesn’t only generate digital leads via website forms – successful
campaigns can also lead to inbound phone calls – so it’s important to consider these leads as well
when you’re reviewing a campaign. In fact, 52% of people still go on to phone the PPC advertiser,
even if they have clicked on a PPC ad. And phone calls from PPC leads are a whopping three times
more likely convert.
At the end of the day, PPC should form part of your marketing mix, particularly if you’re looking to
target an audience on a local level… however to ensure you’re getting the most out of it, it’s
imperative to track your campaigns.