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Unlock Local Domination with Google Ads

Having an online presence is crucial for any local business looking to attract customers and stand out from the competition. One of the most effective ways to establish your local presence and drive qualified traffic to your business is through Google Ads. Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, making it the #1 search engine globally. Leveraging Google Ads allows you to connect with customers right when they are searching for products or services that you offer in your local area.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how local businesses can strategically use Google Ads to dominate their local markets. We will cover tips on keyword research, ad copywriting, campaign settings, ad extensions, conversion tracking, and analyzing data to optimize your campaigns. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of how to set up and manage Google Ads campaigns that deliver results and a high return on investment.

The Power of Local SEO

Before diving into Google Ads, it’s important to make sure you have a strong local SEO foundation for your business website. Local SEO helps your website rank higher in local search results on Google so you can get your business found by people searching for products or services in your area.

Optimizing your on-page content and citations with directory listings like Google My Business are key components of an effective local SEO strategy. This makes it easier for search engines to understand how your business operates locally and helps strengthen the local relevance of your website.

Having a solid local SEO strategy is crucial to maximize the impact of your Google Ads campaigns. Your ads will be shown to more targeted, local audiences at lower costs if your website also ranks well organically for local keywords. Local SEO and PPC work hand-in-hand to help you dominate the local SERPs.

Perform Thorough Keyword Research

The cornerstone of any successful Google Ads campaign is thorough keyword research. You need to identify high-intent keywords and phrases that your ideal local customers are using to search for businesses like yours. Some tips for effective local keyword research:

  • Leverage Google’s autocomplete and related searches to find popular keywords. Pay attention to location-based terms like “near me” or city name.
  • Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to discover high-volume keywords with low competition. Look for keywords with low cost-per-click and high click-through rates.
  • Analyze keywords that are driving traffic to your competitor’s websites to identify opportunities to outrank them.
  • Include long-tail variations like “Japanese restaurant in Austin” to go after hyperlocal demand.
  • Use negative keywords like “coupon” or “free estimate” to avoid irrelevant clicks.

Optimize Ad Copy for Local Audiences

With your keyword list ready, it’s time to optimize your Google Ads with compelling ad copy tailored for local conversion. Follow these best practices:

  • Include your business name, exact location, and prominent call-to-action in the headline and description.
  • Highlight what makes your business better than competitors with keywords like “locally-owned” or “family-operated”.
  • List business hours, street addresses, and contact info to make it easy for nearby customers.
  • Use call extensions and location extensions to provide click-to-call buttons and map directions.
  • Craft different ads for each stage of the customer journey like “awareness” and “consideration”.
  • A/B test ad variations with different offers, headlines, and descriptions to maximize CTR.

Formatting your text ads for local audiences signals to Google you are a relevant option for nearby searchers. This increases your ad quality score for reduced costs and higher ad positions.

Configure Your Campaign Settings

Campaign settings directly impact who sees your ads and how much you pay per click or conversion. For local Google Ads campaigns, use these configurations for optimal results:

  • Set your campaign to target only users physically in your area by using a radius around your business zip code or full city/state location targeting.
  • Use location bid adjustments to automatically increase your bids for users searching closer to your business locations.
  • Enable call bid adjustments so your phone calls from ads get prioritized over clicks in ad auctions.
  • Restrict your ads to only show during your business operating hours with ad scheduling.
  • Set a higher bid strategy like target CPA for conversion campaigns and target ROAS for sales campaigns.
  • Limit your daily budget based on your profit margins and optimize for conversions or sales.

Adjusting your campaign settings for hyperlocal targeting and conversions gives you an advantage when competing against other advertisers. You pay less to reach nearby high-intent searchers more likely to buy.

Leverage Google Ad Extensions

Ad extensions allow you to append additional information to your text ads like your phone number, address, links, etc. Use these extensions to enhance your local PPC campaigns:

  • Call extensions – Provide a clickable phone number to get calls directly from your ad.
  • Location extensions – Display your business address and Google Maps to drive in-store visits.
  • Sitelink extensions – Add links to important local landing pages like “contact us” and “store hours”.
  • Structured snippets – Highlight key information like price, ratings, or offered services.
  • Affiliate location extensions – Show nearby branch locations if you have multiple offices.
  • Message extensions – Allow users to text your business directly from the SERPs.

The more real estate you take up in the SERPs with extensions, the higher the chance of being clicked and converting local searchers.

Track Conversions and Optimize

Monitoring Google Ads performance and optimizing based on data is crucial for driving more profitable local conversions profitably. Here are some tips:

  • Set up conversion tracking to match your business goals like calls, form submissions, online bookings, etc.
  • Create a Google Analytics goal to accurately track conversions on your website from ads.
  • Segment your analytics data to identify your highest-converting keywords, ads, campaigns, and placements.
  • Analyze your conversion metrics and tweak bids to maximize return. Reduce bids on low-performing areas.
  • Look for conversion bellwether indicators like time on site, and pages per session as lead indicators.
  • Check search term reports to find new relevant keywords your localized ads can target.
  • Use scripts like Google Ads Editor to quickly update bids in bulk based on performance.

Regularly optimizing your Google Ads campaigns based on real conversion data ensures your budget is continually spent on the best-performing elements for your business.

Case Study – Local Pizzeria Dominates with Google Ads

Let’s look at a case study example of how a local pizzeria leveraged Google Ads to exponentially grow their delivery orders:


Vito’s Pizzeria is a family-owned pizza restaurant located in Brooklyn, New York. They have been operating for over 20 years with a loyal local customer base. However, when the pandemic hit, their dine-in business took a major hit.


To adapt, Vito’s decided to revamp their website and focus on growing their delivery and pick-up business through online orders. As part of this digital strategy, they hired an agency to manage Google Ads campaigns aimed at increasing phone and online orders from local customers.


The agency created tightly targeted PPC campaigns only showing to users searching for terms like “pizza delivery”, “pizza Brooklyn” and “order pizza online” within a 5-mile radius of their store. They optimized ads with custom location extensions, call extensions, and sitelinks to their delivery order form. The landing page provided coupons to incentivize more orders.


Within 4 months of launching campaigns, Vito’s saw a 2X increase in delivery and pick-up orders compared to their pre-campaign baseline. Phone calls from the ads made up 85% of orders with a very high conversion rate. By optimizing for conversions, they efficiently grew their local orders with a 600% ROI from the Google Ads spend.


For local pizza joints like Vito’s, Google Ads present an extremely effective method for finding and connecting with nearby customers looking to order delivery or pick-up. Local businesses in many other industries can replicate similar success by following the strategy outlined in this article.


Competing and winning locally in the digital age requires having a strong presence on Google to connect with nearby customers. As the #1 search platform, Google Ads provides the most direct opportunity for local businesses to drive conversions when buyers are actively searching. Following the tips outlined in this guide will enable you to build campaigns that maximize your reach in the local SERPs and deliver new, highly qualified leads into your business.

With location targeting settings, conversion tracking, ad extensions and constant optimization, local businesses can unlock their full potential for profitability and growth. So don’t wait any longer to get started with Google Ads and propel your local domination!

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