NiftyCon - Exclusive Legal Marketing Conference: Sept 18-20, 2024. Learn More

Adwords and Local Search – A Happy Marriage

Back in my romantic days when I got married, I remember the advice that every one gave me. From old to young, and ugly to beautiful, most people summed up their “fireproof” plan like this…”If you want this marriage to work, you have to work together”

Now, I haven’t be married for a very long time (2 great years) but, I completely agree and now pass on the same advice. So, what does this have to do with Adwords and Local Search…Everything.

The Courtship

When I first started in local search, I was primarily focused on adwords as my main advertising source. After all with adwords you can…

  • Target geographic locations as big as the world, and as little as a 15 miles radius
  • Focus on generic keywords like “plumbing service” instead of “New York plumbing service”
  • Control where your ad is being listed in position and rotation
  • Track the amount of searches vs. the amount of clicks

With those features alone an advertiser can compete with any paid offline advertising method very competitively. But, a big problem was looking at the amount of searches vs. the amount of clicks. It became very apparent very fast that adwords was only ever going to do anywhere from 0.5-9% of the overall local searches in a given area, and that left adwords very incomplete…like so many of us.

That is when a new player came to town…Local Search Results

The Proposal

So, as I started to utilize this new feature found on the major search engines, I began to see an interesting relationship build. What I found was if I was running ppc ads AND maintained a high listing on the 10 pack (or local search results) I would get more organic traffic.

Now I realize that that is a big claim, and people need a bit more specifics to here is what I was looking at…

  • Each month we ran a certain amount of adwords spent, and then the ad would shut off
  • We were comparing the clicks at the beginning half of the month compared to end with no ads.
  • Over a 3 month period searches for this specific industry stayed fairly big jumps or dips
  • My ranking on local searches stayed constant
  • The ad position would rotate in the top 3 positions (mainly above the 10 pack listings)

The Marriage

So, during the 3 month period I was analyzing, we saw that organic 10-pack traffic went up on the specific keyword by 50%. Now, I realize that this is one case for a 3 month period of time, but what I am seeing is that the marriage between adwords and local search creates click synergy.

In my opinion this happens for a number of reasons. As an example, lets talk about Wall Drug, South Dakota. As you drive along the highway, there is probably around 100 billboards that are all totally vague advertising a place called Wall Drug.  What is wall drug? A few western shops and a restaurant. Nothing special. But, because you see sign after sign you have to stop. If you don’t stop, you are mocked by the signs as you drive pass. On the internet, the more  your business name and site show up for a certain keyword, the more people associate with your company.

Like the example above, somebody searches for lets say “widgets in Transylvania”. You have an ad that says “Get your Widgets here at TransWigets”. The users thinks “hmmm….good option”, but they continue to scroll down the page to the local search results, because that map draws the eye like a mouse trap with cheese. But, at the top of the map listings, they see Trans Widgets again. They have seen you twice and will be more likely to click on your add. It is as simple as that.

Together Forever

I know it sounds cheesy. But, adwords and local search will be forever bound, and forever creating click synergy. I think that people are missing out by doing one or the other, when the maximizing potential is through the roof. But, can it go even further? I am a one wife type guy, but what if there was a way to bring a 3rd partner in the mix?

If you can have your ad displaying, your company in the local search results, and your website in the organic results at the bottom, you have created something very powerful and beautiful. So stay tuned for the next update….

The Mormons might be right, 3 is better than 2!