Promote Your Local Business With Google Adwords and Facebook Ads

A real estate professional recently asked about whether to try Google Adwords and/or Facebook Ads for local business advertising. I shared this opinion because I run campaigns for clients and myself, and I also teach an introduction to Google Adwords class for small business owners.

My advice based on my experiences…

Don’t rush into advertising on Google Adwords or Facebook (or Yahoo or Bing) until you’ve done some significant keyword research and planning.

Real Estate, Finance, Insurance are all extremely competitive. You are often biding against the major brands and well as their local agents.

It takes time to find the right combination of keywords (and negatives), the right ad copy, the right targeting. There are no shortcuts and it’s better to test a lot of variables before you can dial in on what works.

Determine a niche your good at that your local competitors aren’t active in.

Google Adwords has flexibility of running in Google search results only, Google’s extended search network of partners, and on the Contextual network (blogs and other sites). You need to break all those out and test individually. Two of the three might unnecessarily skew your results and effectiveness.

I like Google for local business because it has more refined geo-targeting. With Facebook, while you can choose a specific town/city, you have to choose from defaults like 10 mile radius, 25 mile radius. Also not every town/city will be available.

I like Facebook because it lets you be clever by combining factors like self-reported age, gender, marital status, interests and location.

Bid-wise, I’ve noticed my Facebook campaign click costs are typically twice Google Adwords. But ultimately you need to have the right sales conversion metrics in place to track that a lead or sale came from Facebook vs Google. Then with enough data you can decide if the higher expense gets you a more qualified lead/sale.

In summary:

  • Plan carefully
  • Do your research
  • Find a niche, and
  • Test everything so you can make informed decisions.

I hope you find this helpful. Please share your experience and opinion here.


Worthwhile Reading – Week Ending 04/20/2008

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Social Media Mayhem

I’ve become addicted to microblogging. It just happened and I have no regrets. Technology is supposed to make life easier, but at times it can make your head spin. As I consider the personas I maintain online, and the varied content I publish, it becomes more important to look for methods to create efficiencies.

Let’s see…

Asymetrical ChaosI microblog most using Twitter. But now I’m seriously considering to primarily post to Pownce instead.

Thanks to a tip from Vinny, I now use TwitterFeed in order to post on Pownce and have it update Twitter.

Twitter in turn shows up in the RSS feed for Jaiku along with RSS feeds from the various blogs I publish, plus my Flickr photos and YouTube videos. (I love Jaiku, but my circle of colleagues just isn’t there.)

I also have LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, MyBlogLog, Technorati and more linking or aggregating RSS feeds.

If I wanted to go nuts, I could use Tumblr, Twitku, Twitter Groups, Yahoo! Pipes, TubeMogul and scores more.

That begins to scratch the surface of me online, but you know what? It’s enough.

Before you step into this rat hole, and have to jury rig your online presence, create a sensible plan and stick to it. Know where your audience or circle of colleagues/friends is and be there.

Let me know what you think.

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