Internet advertising has evolved significantly over the years. In the beginning pop-ups were just that - pop-ups. When they open, you close them and move on. The original pop-ups are still there, but they have also evolved into interstitial ads - you know, those annoying versions that require some level of interaction to make them go away. Some times it’s a video, sometimes a static ad, but it’s always right in your face.
When PPC ads started appearing in search engines they were simple text ads separated by the non-paid listings - they were non-intrusive and un-offending to the searcher. Over the years they have significantly evolved, but to the searcher they, for the most part, remained the same. Most of the changes have been in the realm of the advertiser in terms of ad management and specific targeting abilities, in particular local targeting.
Google has its Local Targeting Options and Overture has its Local Match. A variety of other pay per click engines are offering Geo Targeting based on country, and soon, will likely offer very targeted city and precise searching by radius.
Now both Google and Overture offer the ability to target very specific locations, within 20 miles from a specific point by using the physical address or longitude and latitude. This precise method of targeted PPC advertising is still quite new, but will likely shift over to the second tier engines in time if it proves to be beneficial to both advertisers and searchers.
Such local targeting gives localized business the chances to advertise online with the chance of receiving qualified business. A small craft shop in Vancouver that does not offer online sales, can now place an ad online that will be directed to only local qualified traffic - no more wasted leads from searchers in Toronto.
Hacking The Locals
In Many cases, creating a successful Ad Campaign requires a look at the competitor’s ads. If you are targeting specific countries outside of your own, in many cases it is either near impossible, or extremely difficult to view the competition - until now.
If you are an advertiser in the US and also place ads targeting the UK, it is difficult to see your direct competition unless you are located in the UK. Although it may have been around for a long time, today I just learned of a Google hack that gets you around this.
After you perform your search in Google, go up to the address bar and at the end of the URL add the text ‘gl=uk’; (or instead of uk, any applicable country code), hit enter and you will now see a listing of AdWords ads that are targeted towards the UK.
Have you have an experience with Local Targeting for any of your PPC campaigns? I would love to hear about your positive and negative experiences! Email me at scott@StepForth.com.