In part one of this blog series on SEO and SEM for Seattle web design, we discussed using local keyword phrases that indicated buyer intent to optimize for valuable organic search ranking.
By focusing on queries that indicate a specific, immediate need, we were able to optimize for local search while gaining valuable traffic that is more likely to convert.
Today we’re going to take a look at the SEM component and use similar tactics to optimize our paid advertising for keyword phrases that also indicate buyer intent.
Local SEM – Refining Your Traffic
There are three ways that you can localize your SEM campaigns for Seattle (or elsewhere) within AdWords. When you first set up your campaign, choose the best localization setting depending upon your traffic goals:
- “Reach people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location” – best for people who want to target anyone who may be interested in doing business locally. This setting will target people outside of your geographic location if they search for your service alongside your location modifier. (Example: You have a pet grooming shop in Seattle. Someone in New Jersey who searches for “Seattle pet groomers” will see your ad. Someone in Seattle who searches for “pet groomers” will also see your ad.)
- “Reach people in my targeted location” – best for people who only want to target people physically located in a specific area. (Example: You have a pet grooming shop in Seattle. Only people physically located in Seattle will see your ad. Someone in New Jersey who searches for “Seattle pet groomers” will NOT see your ad.)
- “Reach people searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location” – best for people who are using highly targeted local keywords in their ad groups. (Example: You have a pet grooming shop in Seattle. Only people who search for “Seattle pet groomers” will see your ad. Someone in Seattle who searches for “pet groomers” will NOT see your ad.)
Local Keywords in AdWords Campaigns
With regards to local AdWords groups, some of the same keyword phrases that you used in your SEO research can be utilized for SEM provided there is enough traffic for the search term. Google allows for the use of specific locations within keywords used for targeting. This is very helpful when creating location-specific landing pages for your campaigns as it can help to raise the relevance of your ads, which in turn increases the quality score and lowers the cost per click (CPC).
Negative Keyword Considerations
Pay particular attention to negative keywords when running a local SEM campaign. To reduce the amount of irrelevant clicks and impressions and clicks, add negative keywords which indicate non-consumer requests.
Terms such as “free” or “cheap” may indicate a low-value prospect that is best avoided. Likewise, search terms such as “divorce laws in South Dakota” may indicate that a customer is only in the research phase and is not ready to reach out. In this case, you must make the decision about whether or not to set up a lead nurturing campaign, or to exclude these kinds of prospects altogether.
Local SEM – Your Landing Pages
You may be able to reuse the location optimized pages you’ve created for your SEO campaign as landing pages for an SEM, provided that:
- The information on the page is relevant to the offer within your ads
- The content is useful to the person who clicked on the ad
- There is a clear call to action/conversion that can be tracked to measure effectiveness
Be prepared to make some adjustments and tweaks in order to optimize for conversions, and if the required changes are major, consider creating a separate landing page for your SEM campaigns in order to preserve your SEO rank.
How Do You Handle Seattle SEM Optimization?
Are your local campaigns performing as well as you’d like? If you’re concerned that your AdWords campaigns aren’t performing up to par, we can help. Get in touch with us today and schedule an SEM review for your Seattle business website.