PPM Article: Location based AdWords

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How physical stores can benefit from online advertising with Google AdWords. – Article by XOXX and Pooch & Mutt owner, Guy Blaskey, published in the trade magazine PPM (Pet Product Marketing).

I have heard many pet store owners complain that online retailers have taken a lot of their trade. One way you can get it back is by using Google AdWords.

Adwords are the sponsored ads that come up at the side of the web page when you search for a product on google. Below is a picture of what comes up when you search for ‘pooch and mutt’. As you can see, the top 3 results and the 3 results on the right are in a section called ads. These ads are paid-for ‘AdWords’ ads. However you don’t pay for them to show, you only pay if someone actually clicks on the ad, which makes them extremely cost effective if done well.

The result underneath, ‘Natural Dog Supplement | Pooch and Mutt’ is what is called a ‘natural search’ result. Natural search is not paid for, but getting to the top of natural results can be both difficult and time consuming, hence people use paid AdWords.

Included in the ads that show when you google Pooch and Mutt are ads placed by ourselves, ads placed by online retailers that sell the products such as Amazon (where we get a 5 star rating) and Supplement Solutions as well as ads placed by competitor companies, who sell competing products – a controversial subject that I am not going to cover in this article.

What are missing from this are any ads from any offline retailers – shops. You may ask “Why would people search online and go to a store to buy?”. Many people do. People like to save on postage, people like to see the products before they buy, people like to speak to the retailers selling the products, people can’t always be in to wait for a delivery and many other reasons… your shop may simply be on their route home from work.

How can you benefit from this without spending a fortune?

AdWords is perfect for low cost advertising, because you only pay if your ad is clicked on, and if you are clever about it you can make sure that only the people most likely to come to your shop and buy will click.

The first way to eliminate any unwanted and costly clicks is to be specific about your location.  AdWords give you the ability to pick the location where your ads will show. Google reads the IP addresses of the computers that are doing the google searches and knows where they are in the country.  You can set your ads to only show to people who are geographically close to your shop.

When you set up your campaign click on ‘select one or more other locations’ and you will get a screen like the one below. You just click on the locations that you want on the map, it is very easy.

Above you will see that I have selected Market Harborough, Kettering and Corby. This means that the ads will just show in these areas.

You can then set up an ad like the one below which shows the name of your store, that you stock the product that the person is searching for, where you are based and additional benefits, such ad free parking.

If someone knows your store they may not even click on the ad, they may just come and get the product from you, and because with Adwords you only pay when some one clicks, this would be free.

If someone doesn’t know your store this could get you a new customer who could start buying all their pets products from you, not just the one that they were searching for.

To set up your AdWords account go to www. adwords.google.co.uk and follow the instructions. It is very simple and there are video guides that you can use to get started.

There is a lot more to AdWords that I hope to cover in future article, but here are a few tips to get you started.

1) Getting a lot of people to your website is not the aim. Making money is the aim, so don’t worry if you only get a few clicks, as long as those few clicks are people likely to buy.

2) You can add your phone number and address in the ‘ad extensions’ part of the campaign settings. If you have a store you should definitely do this.

3) Think of a way to measure conversions. Conversions are normally sales, but don’t have to be. You could have a downloadable 5% off voucher or a map for people who click on your AdWords ads. Each time this is downloaded you could count it as a conversion, as that person is very likely to visit your shop.

4) Don’t be afraid to experiment. As long as you set your bids low it is very difficult to waste a lot of money on AdWords. Try things, check back in a week, if it hasn’t worked delete the campaign, if it has worked up the budget.

5) Use ‘long tail’ keywords. Bidding on ‘Arthritis supplement’ will cost you a lot. Bidding on ‘Dog arthritis supplement’ will cost you less. Bidding on ‘Natural dog arthritis supplement’ will cost you even less. And the more specific you are the more likely it is that you will get someone to buy.