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Think local online advertising is out of reach?

Just about every small business owner I’ve asked has not even considered paid local online advertising for their business. While I agree that this form of advertising isn’t right for every type of local business, it can be very effective if executed correctly.

On a high level, these are the basic considerations for a successful adwords marketing campaign:

  • Be strategic
  • Go deep, not wide
  • Offer value, give a reason to click
  • Measure everything and adjust
  • Play by the rules!

This week’s webinar will clarify these points and walk you through the 12 steps to growing your business fast using Adwords, but today’s post will focus on setting the goal for your campaign, the most logical starting point for any advertising campaign.

Before starting any type of advertising, be it online or off, there should be a clear goal for the campaign. Are you looking to sell a particular product, get leads or sign-ups for your newsletter, or build brand awareness. If you’re wondering why you should be setting a goal, here are some reasons. First, if you are going to be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaign, you have to know what to measure it against.

For example, you can say that you had a successful local online advertising campaign if you increased your widget sales by 20%, increased your mailing list or newsletter subscriptions by 15% or gained more followers on your social media properties or increased traffic to your website. Whatever your business would most benefit from is where you should target your marketing dollars. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, then there really isn’t any point of starting an advertising campaign.

Once you know what your goal is, the rest of the steps will be crafted to achieve that goal. Let’s use a goal of increasing your newsletter subscription base by 15% so we can illustrate how the rest of the steps are impacted by what you want the increased website traffic to do. Getting people to give up their email address can be challenging if they think you will bombard them with sales emails that just clutter up their inbox. If you can show potential subscribers that you provide free quality information that they want, then they will happily give you their email address and probably lots of additional information as well.

So your keyword research and all aspects of the ad campaign need to convey the impression that free, quality information will be provided to anyone who clicks on the ad. The keywords need to be targeted to information, not selling. For example, if your business is selling kites, but you want to get lots of people on your email newsletter list, you want to let people know that you provide the best kite-flying tips and tricks that the “pros” use (I’m honestly not sure there’s such a thing as a professional kite flyer, but you get the idea) on your monthly newsletter. So your keyword research should provide you with how many searches there are for “kite flying tips” or “kite flying tricks”.  If those seem to have a fair amount of traffic but not a lot of competition, then you can move on to the next step.

Keyword research can be a lot more complicated than that and I have a lot of resources, including my book which is available on Amazon. I don’t want to get too far off topic on this post so if you need more information on keyword research, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

By now you should have a sense of all the reasons it’s good to start any local online advertising campaign with a well defined, measurable goal. Not just to make sure the campaign delivers value to you, but also to guide the research and set up for the campaign.

Tomorrow we will discuss competition research so you can see who else is already advertising and how they’re doing it.


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