We are often asked by local business owners if they should keep their ad in the Yellow Pages. 99% of the time our response is “no”. When do we say “yes”? If the target audience is elderly and located in a rural area. Why? Because these folks have lived in a rural area most of their life. They are more comfortable using the Yellow Pages printed directory to find a local service and normally do not have reliable internet service.
At one time, the Yellow Pages was the place to go when you didn’t know who to call and you needed help. You may remember the popular phrase “Let your fingers do the walking!”. Our fingers are still doing the walking, but now they are typing search keywords into search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc) or a social network (Facebook) to find the service or product desired.
Where Should A Local Business Spend Advertising Dollars?
The answer is Google first, Facebook second.
Here’s the big problem, the minute we mention Google Adwords to a small business owner they immediately are stressed and defensive. Why? Because either they have been burned by another marketing company that failed to deliver on their promises or they are simply unfamiliar with Google Adwords and find it too hard or confusing. Almost immediately, most business owners respond with “let’s focus on Facebook Advertising”. Facebook is a platform that is easy to navigate and understand. Google Adwords is a bit more complex and requires additional keyword research.
Yes, Facebook Advertising works, but only if you can target users based on their interests and the actions they’ve taken on the platform. Whereas, with Google Ads, you are targeting searchers that are seeking a local company to help them solve a problem they are having right now. Will it be you that they find?
Education Is The KEY To Your Success!
Google is the best place for a local business to reach new prospects because if the prospect needs a service, they will do a Google search to find someone locally that provides that service. Here are a few examples of local searches:
- dentist near me
- restaurant near me
- lawyer near me
- doctor in lake geneva, wi
- oil change in delavan, wi
- plumber in walworth, wi
These searchers are located in your local area, they need help now and you can solve their problem. Google Marketing allows you to show up in search when your customers need you the most.
The BIG Question Is, Will They Find You?
There are three main ways that searchers will find your local business on Google:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Google My Business (Local)
Search Engine Optimization is focused on getting your website ranked in organic search listings and on the map for specific keywords related to your business. Google will determine where your pages and website rank based off their algorithm. This type of marketing is a long-term investment. You most likely won’t see a return on your investment for three to six months and if you are in a competitive market it could take over a year.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing is paid advertising on the Google platform. Google Adwords is the program that you will use to create your paid ads. Pay-per-click means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. With Google Ads you are reaching people who know they need your help and are seeking a solution to their problem. Make sure they choose you!
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage how your business appears in Google searches, including Search and Maps. Using the tool, you can update your business name, address, hours, add photos and even respond to reviews. Your information will appear in Google Local Search results, Map Search results and in the Knowledge Panel (aka Sidebar) for free. To learn more about the Google My Business tool read our blog post on How to Set Up Your Local Google My Business Account.
What About Facebook Advertising (aka Paid Social)?
Facebook paid advertising helps users find businesses based on the things they are interested in and the ways they behave online. With Facebook’s targeted advertising, you can quickly & easily create visual ad campaigns. You can define your ad’s target audience based on what they’ve included in their profiles, as well as the Pages, groups and other things on Facebook they’ve connected with.
Facebook advertising works good for many businesses that create consistent content. On Facebook, your goal is to share valuable, useful, unique content to build brand awareness.
Google Paid Ads allows you to reach people who are actively searching for someone that does what you do. Google can send a local business a large amount of website traffic every day (if they have the budget to pay for this traffic). The searchers that find you on Google are more likely to become customers, opt-in to your email list, request information, or do whatever action you asked them to take in your ad.
Facebook Ads are considered interruption marketing because the user didn’t request information on your business. They were not searching for you. On Facebook, you are putting your ads in front of people who may not know a product or solutions like yours exists. One of the best ways to use Facebook ads is to create brand awareness ads that share your unique content.
It’s up to you to take action! Are you a do-it-yourself person? Great! Take time to learn about Google Adwords using their step-by-step guide (https://support.google.com/adwords/?hl=en#topic=3119071).
Don’t want to handle your online ads? Hire us to handle your Online Paid Ads (both Google and Facebook). Our unique process allows us to create highly effective lead generation campaigns on Google Adwords and Facebook. Let’s schedule a time to chat about how our paid advertising process can help you find quality leads.