Many business owners have a perception that just because they cater to a local market, they can’t use the power of online advertising to attract new customers. The reality is quite different.
Recent developments in the pay-per-click industry allow even the localized business to get in the game. Several search engines actually allow you to target prospects in any desired geographic area. In other words, if you sell a product or service and can only cater to a specific state or city, you can target your ads to only show up when potential clients from that location are searching for them.
Currently, there are 3 options that you can consider for Local advertising:
Yahoo! Search Marketing – Local Match
With Yahoo!, you can specify a list of keywords describing your services or products and then select the area they serve using a map. Your ads will show when users’ searches contain the keywords and locations that are within the area specified. Bidding in “Local Match” is separate to Yahoo!’s standard pay-perclick program called “Precision Match”. The Local Match program is open to businesses without a website.
You can specify a list of keywords describing your services or products and then enter the locations you serve. Ads are displayed with the location written underneath them. These locations include the 210 DMAs in the US, individual cities and within a radius of the location of their business. Bids are in the same auction pool as standard AdWords results.
Verizon lets you bid on the category your business fits into (e.g. Attorneys > Family Law > Divorce). When searches are carried out, a list of matching categories is displayed for the searcher to select from. You can add an optional “Free to talk” link to their listings. Searchers click this and enter their phone number in the box provided and receive a call from the advertiser. Alternatively they can talk via their computer. Your ad is composed of ad text, website link, link to a business profile page hosted by SuperPages.com, email address and a map.
These options can become a powerful marketing channel by any business that wants to attract local customers. Good luck!