Optimizing AdWords campaigns for small businesses and local businesses is a whole different process from managing campaigns for online stores or segments that need to generate leads online. The challenges change in such a way that many tips for one profile just don’t work for the other.


After a lot of experimenting with the most different profiles of campaigns and strategies, we put together a small manual with some essential tips for small businesses, whether those that serve just a few kilometers around your office or that operate throughout the state.

1. Prioritize the location of your ads to cover only your region

When setting up your campaign region, make sure you use your area exclusively, the region where your company most operates. Many companies create ads aiming at ALL of the states, in order to ensure that whenever someone searches, they appear prominently.

Prioritize only those areas that are most important to you or the easiest to work with. Over time, you can expand. Example: If your company provides cleaning services, start by prioritizing your neighborhood, then expand AdWords campaigns throughout Porto Alegre. When you think the time is right, expand the region to greater Porto Alegre.

2. Implement conversion tracking

The biggest mistake of “homemade” campaigns, made internally, is the fact that companies end up not monitoring conversions. Focusing exclusively on clicks, they care about the amount of traffic generated, not the quality.

A good conversion metric is to establish a prominent form on the site and measure it each time someone fills out that form from the AdWords campaign. This will allow you to understand which keywords generate the most interest for your company.

3. Use keywords that represent local terms, such as cities and neighborhoods

In AdWords, one of the biggest advantages for local businesses about online stores is that they have far more opportunities to reach a highly relevant and ready to buy an audience.

When a user is searching for “plastic surgeon” on Google, they may be just browsing or actually looking for a plastic surgeon to have surgery. However, when the user is looking for using the term “Plastic surgeon in Porto Alegre”, and you are a plastic surgeon in Porto Alegre ??. Well, this is definitely a potential client that you want to appear to him!

By using a more aggressive bid for those keywords that quote your city or neighborhood, you can appeal to potential customers who are ready to buy at that moment.

4. Don’t just use broad keywords

On Google, you have broad keywords, phrases, and exact words. Avoid using exclusively wide ones, because although they bring more access, they often bring irrelevant visitors, wasting campaign money without bringing real customers.

5. Avoid using single-term keywords

At the beginning of your campaign, you should definitely avoid generic, one-term keywords, such as:





You will understand quickly. The cost per click for these keywords is usually very high and you will have a lot of work trying to get visitors to click on your ad. People looking for a “plumber” may be looking for pictures, stories, job vacancies, salary information or even hiring his services ?? But you have no way of knowing.

Start the campaign only with keywords that you understand at the time the intention behind the search that the user is performing.

6. Include your location in the ads

When advertising locally, one of the most important actions you need to take is to show your target audience that you can serve their region. When your campaign covers a larger area (example: 50 kilometers), you are likely to be impacting multiple cities, each with your local service providers.

If a potential buyer has to choose between a corner company and another one 50 kilometers away, the choice will be very easy for him.

The buyer may not even call you because they will not know if you can serve their region and do not know that you will have no problem driving 50 kilometers to do the job.

Don’t let the buyer make that decision for your company. Make clear the areas you serve and regionalize your ads, creating unique texts for each city, for example, citing her name in the ad.

7. Mobile devices are crucial for local business customers

Search through mobile devices has already exceeded the volume of desktop searches and continues to grow non-stop.

Read that sentence again. Your site probably already receives more mobile access than desktops. Are you ready for this? Is your website responsive? Does it work well on cell phones? And are your ads mobile-friendly? And do you have a well-defined strategy to benefit from this opportunity?

Don’t forget the mobile strategy. Mobile devices are here to stay, and the more you ignore them, the more your competition will skyrocket ahead. It is like the beginning of the internet itself: the first to adapt will be those who will benefit the most.

8. Limit your ad delivery to the days and times you are available to attend

Google AdWords is a wonderful tool to schedule your ads. It allows you to control what times of the day and days of the week your ad will appear to searchers. Through it you can also increase or decrease the cost per click at certain times, improving your strategy in the face of direct competition that appears at certain times.

One of the biggest advantages of a campaign for local businesses is the possibility to automatically pause ads when there is no one in your company to serve customers.

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