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PPC, PPC reporting, SEM, Tips & tricks

5 Local PPC Mistakes To Avoid

30 October 2020

Experienced online marketers already know the game when it comes to creating exquisite and eye-catching ad campaigns. But now, local or “near me” searches are becoming more and more popular. Consumers are turning to their smartphones (as well as other mobile devices) to find local restaurants, stores, and service providers. 

By doing this, consumers can browse the Internet with ease without having to waste time scrolling through irrelevant results. Plus, local companies can benefit from this, since it gives them great opportunities, when it comes to competing with larger brands. As a result:

What Should We Look For In PPC?

The truth is, PPC is more important than anyone would expect, and online marketers know this. Since PPC is always evolving, with new tools and more effective targeting, it’s important to not focus exclusively on click-based results. By working to gain more comprehensive data, you’ll be able to create more cost-efficient ads that effectively boost conversions.

With that in mind, here are 5 mistakes that experienced online marketers should avoid, so that local PPC can be accounted for and SEO will be better utilized to maximize visibility to consumers.

Not Creating Different Location-Specific Product/Service Ads

“First, know what your local business has to offer,” says Harrison Rudduck, a marketing blogger at OX Essays and Paper Fellows, “because chances are, you might offer specific products or services to customers in one area, but it might not offer other things. Keep in mind that this is based on consumer income, lifestyle, local amenities, and so on.”

In other words, your PPC campaigns must target all kinds of location-specific audiences. How do you do it?

“Your PPC campaigns should include ads that target different audience segments,” adds Rudduck, “even if your local customer base is still minimal. By keeping your ads focused on relevant locations, every cent put into them will be worth it.”

For example, if you are a restaurant running an ad for a new special offer, be sure to geo-target your ad and only show it to the potential customers in your surrounding area or city. Otherwise you may be wasting ad impressions on viewers who aren’t willing to travel the distance to your location. 

Not Localizing Your Landing Page

Having a landing page is one thing, but having one that’s localized is extremely important. If you’re a local business looking to target customers in your town or city only, your landing page should definitely cater to them. Remember these two objectives:

  • Demonstrate how your local business connects to the community (your sense of belonging). AND,
  • Show what industry your business is a part of and which goods and services they offer.

How can you demonstrate your sense of belonging, along with what services you offer? Here are some good ideas on how to demonstrate these things about your local business:

  • Highlight any local awards or prizes that your business has won (so far). This allows you to show how you provide the best products and or services, giving you a competitive edge.
  • Describe your local business’s involvement in initiatives to improve the community. Your business might be working for a positive cause (i.e. food banks, local charities, etc.)
  • Include pictures of local landmarks or popular spots, which reinforce your presence in the community.

No Call Extensions

Rule of thumb: you must have call extensions in your ads – all experienced online marketers must do this. If you’re not adding call extensions in your ads, then you might be missing out on utilizing a valuable lead-generation technique.

What are call extensions? They help you display your company phone number and or “contact” button, so that people can reach out to your business directly. It’s a quick and easy way for prospects or existing customers to connect to you within seconds of seeing your ad on a results page or their feed. While they won’t be clicking through to your local landing page with call extensions, their calls could still result in a direct sale or booking, which is always good for business.

Another great thing about call extensions is that they can be tracked when it comes to conversions. Conversion tracking allows you to measure how effective your ads with call extensions are in generating leads, which lets you identify the value of specific ads.

Not Focusing On The Right Metrics

The biggest headache that online marketers encounter is this costly PPC mistake: focusing on the wrong metrics. What does that mean?

First, be aware of these actions that could be costing you in the long-run:

  • Not optimizing off of sales data, AND
  • Tracking back to what keywords and placements are actually making you money

Those actions exist because too many marketers turn a blind eye to those issues, and instead focus on optimizing off of conversions. But the truth is, not all conversions are equal. Website actions are not necessarily as powerful as online sales, or vice versa.

To fix this, you can use parameters. In other words, if you’re generating leads or running a SaaS business by using a CRM, you can use Google ValueTrack parameters, which can give you plenty of insight on how your PPC is doing. When measuring your results, focus on:

  • Identifying the types of people who make you money
  • Understanding your ideal customers’ motivations and behavior, AND
  • Optimizing to reach more of these ideal customers

When you use Google ValueTrack parameters, you can uncover data like which gender or age group shows interest in which product the most, and make smarter choices on optimization. Adding these parameters to your landing page URLs lets you collect information about the source of your ad clicks.

You can also use IF functions to help you track these valuable insights. When you go into Google Analytics, you can see your parameters (with whatever keyword that you set for them – “search,” for example), and you’ll know if someone clicks on your ad (in the “search” example, you see how many clicks were made from the Search Network parameter).

Using “Bid Only” Remarketing Display Campaigns

“An important thing to remember is that your goal in remarketing campaigning on the display network is to target ads to users who’ve already visited your site,” says Milla Fiaschi, a content writer at Essay Roo and State of writing. “Google Ads is a great way to create and target your audience segments without second-guessing them. However, keep in mind how you set your bids, because it’s easy to end up using the wrong settings.”

Sometimes, settings can be finicky to the point where marketers have to dive deep into the settings  to ensure the correct setup. Here are some setting options to keep in mind: 

  • The “bid only” option only targets who Google wants to target, based on the conversion a group has given for similar ads in the past. So, if you’re expecting to target a certain group, then you might not get the desired results, and ultimately waste money on ineffective advertising.
  • The “target and bid” option tells Google about the users in your audience along with anyone else Google feels like targeting.

Therefore, your best bet is to make sure that you set your remarketing audience in a display campaign to “target and bid” only, which limits Google to showing remarketed ads only to users in your audience. A pretty straightforward solution, right? But it’s a lesson that even experienced marketers must abide by – paying attention and understanding key PPC terms, while triple-checking your campaigns before making them live.


Like leveling up in a game, PPC can get more and more complicated the more you play. And if you were to make the above 5 mistakes with PPC, you’ll risk losing time and money. That means if you bet on the wrong ad or lose focus on what’s really important in your campaigns, you could be losing out on serious revenue.

So, if you want to craft the best, most effective PPC ads possible, keep the following objectives in mind:

  1. Make sure that you know the differences between search, display and social traffic, so that none of them seem confusing to you, or you confuse one for the other.
  2. Be sure to cater to the right audience. Catering to the right people lets you create data-driven personas and tailor your ads for specific audiences.
  3. Remarket to certain people (i.e. existing customers), rather than show ads to others who might find your ads spammy and repetitive, thus upsetting them and refusing to visit your site. Catering to the right people lets you create data-driven personas and tailor your ads for specific audiences.
  4. Optimize to generate revenue, not to increase CTR.
  5. Use “Target and Bid” for remarketing display ads only.

So, now that you’re aware of the 5 mistakes to avoid, good luck, and hopefully your future ads will boost your conversion by an incredible amount!


Kristin Herman writes and edits at PhD Writers and Academized. She is also a freelance writer for online publications, such as Boom Essays. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology. And, as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.