Did you know that by not running display campaigns for your local business, you are easily missing out on 10x more leads than you could be getting by only running tried-and-true search-only campaigns alone?

Yes, it is true …

While display PPC advertising is indeed difficult to generate any kind of an ROI (much different than regular search ads), the same direct response methods that have worked well for decades are also working online with display ads without you even being aware, making running online display campaigns easy and profitable.


Local Facebook PPC Ad for Lead Gen

Local Facebook PPC Ad for Lead-Gen


If you would like for me to set you up with a free hyperlocal ppc campaign that gets your door buster offer absolutely clamored over, then you can request that from me here


In fact, if you are not doing display ads online right now, then you are missing out on the most profitable thing online at the moment.

Local Lead Gen Campaign by Medium (TV vs. Radio Vs. Online Display)

Local Lead Gen Campaign by Medium (TV vs. Radio Vs. Online Display)



As you can see in the above data set, my client had the same exact offer running on multiple channels, and the display campaign absolutely crushed the other channels tested, with a much lower cost per lead generated.

Results like these are possible because so few people know about local display ads and do it right, leaving the medium right there for you to use — get in while the getting is still good!

Your prospects are online every day, searching for information on how to make the right decision on what you offer, so why not enter the conversation when they are actually making this decision to buy and at the best possible time to market?

Google Search about Carpet Cleaner (1)Grab That Search Intent

Result for Carpet Cleaning in Wikihow

And Collect on It

It’s often the difference between your prospects going with you vs. the competitor.


Display PPC Ads Are Your Marketing Nuke for Your Local Market

In markets that are particularly limited in scope, display ads allow you the maximum penetration into your limited pool of prospects’ attention, especially considering all the other noise out there coming from your competitors’ advertising campaigns.

While radio and newspaper ads will only reach some of your prospects, almost everyone does a little research online before making a purchase (81 percent of your targeted market, to be exact).

If you are not online when people are doing their research and due diligence, you are simply missing out on a large amount of extra money that will go to the competitor instead.

Here are just a few typical scenarios where my clients have used local display PPC ads to drive response:

If you are a local brick and mortar business, you may target an area within 15 miles of your actual location:

Ideal Geo-Targeting for Local Brick and Mortar Business

Ideal Geo-Targeting for Local Brick & Mortar Business


Ideal Ad for Hyper-local Brick & Mortar

Ideal Ad for Hyper-Local Brick & Mortar

If you are a local service business, you may target prospects inside a 30-mile radius of your area.


Ideal Targeting for Local Service Business

Ideal Targeting for Local Service Business


Ideal Ad Copy for Local Service Business With the Location in the Headline

Ideal Ad Copy for Local Service Business With the Location in the Headline


Or if you are targeting people within certain communities, such as a military base, you may blanket the neighborhood in question for an unbelievable response:

Hyper-Local Targeting

Want Zero Competitors? Try Hyper-Local Targeting


Hyper-Local Ad

And Follow It up With a Hyper-Local Ad (I have seen this kill it many times.)


But It’s Not Just Display That You Are Missing out on for Your Local Business

To have success with your local display campaigns, instead of telling your prospects to buy, tell them why to go with you vs. the competitor, the better of the two choices — or what I call the political approach.


Google Search about Carpet Cleaner (2)

Pick up What Your Competitors Are Doing So Easily (I know it’s not display, but this also works.)


While we are not really looking to get our prospects to BUY NOW, we can expect to get those people to buy from us in the next 60 days if they interact with us in some way right now and get them on our remarketing list.


Result for Carpet Cleaning Ads

And Capitalize on Their Shortfalls as Well!


By actually talking to your prospects first at the hands of your display campaign, you’re virtually guaranteed to win that person’s business. This is my preferred method of running these types of competitive campaigns.


Carpet Cleaning Ads

You Should Always Make It Super Easy for People to Convert From Display


Creating a Working Direct Response Offer to Use With Your Display Campaign

If you have no idea how to create a profitable offer for your display campaign, start by reviewing offers that previously worked for you instead of reinventing the wheel via looking at newspaper, radio, TV, or other campaigns you already know worked for you in the past.

If you have no other experience running direct response offers at all, here are a few example offers that work from my own experience that you can use:


Credit Offers

Credit Offers Example


Cash back Offers/ Vouchers

Cash back Offers/Vouchers Ads


Free Gift Offers

Free Gift Offers Ads


Free Trial Offers

Free Trial Offers Ads


Free Proposals

Free Proposal Ads


Places where we can get our message across so we can redirect these potential clients or customers locally to our own businesses are informational pages related to what my client sells, including:

How-to Tips

How-tips Google Search Ads


Buyers’ Guides

Buyer's Guides Google Search Ads


Review Pages

Google Search Ads on carpet cleaning


Once you get a working formula together that you are initially happy with, you can bump the results of that campaign by tweaking the copy on your funnel to match each user’s specific intent. For example, sending people who are looking for info on bats to a page like:


Glove buyers guide ads (1)

Example Ad


Glove buyers guide ads (2)

Example Follow-up


These types of longer funnels work great if you are in a price sensitive market.

Even though the intent does not start out local, you can also definitely bring a person local with a similar approach.


Know Your Numbers

The key to a successful campaign right from the start is to know what you can pay for a lead so you can properly dial in your campaign right from the beginning without worrying about profitability.

This is easy to do by seeing how many people who buy even one thing from you in the past spend with you far into the future.

While we know what we can spend to derive a net profit sale right now, the real pros know what they will also net on the backend, so they can justify spending a little more to get those first new prospects that they normally never would have had a chance to do business with otherwise.

From our initial results:

(Click To Enlarge)

 ROI By Medium

 ROI By Medium


If you are starting with a brand new offer that you have no previous experience running, you can easily run a test campaign, pause it, check your numbers, then reactivate your campaigns once you have defined where the goal posts are, without assuming much risk at all.


Refining Your Campaign for Even Better Results

There are three main ways you can refine your localized display campaign from the start that will have the greatest effect on your results, all of which are refined by tracking how many leads they actually generate.

1. Placement
2. Keywords
3. Demographics


Ad Placements Refinement

There will be some sites that convert better based upon where they actually are in the sales cycle and some that do not.

Using the placements repots in either Google or Facebook, you can easily weed out the tire kickers by upping your bids on what parts of your campaign have driven conversions to get ROI positive.



TV vs. Radio vs. Online Display Results

TV vs. Radio vs. Online Display Results



Facebook Placements Report

Facebook Placements Report


Google Placements Report

Google Placements Report


Google Keyword Conversion Cost Breakdown

Google Keyword Conversion Cost Breakdown


Filter by Demographics

Once you know where to target your prospects, you can also refine who sees your ads, such as targeting by sex or age demographic to focus on those who spend the most money on the product or services you sell.

Since this article is about local, you will definitely want to filter your sales performance so you can drill down by zip code through your CRM, such as:


Filter by Demographics

Turn a Breakeven Campaign Into a Super Profitable One, Knowing What Specific Areas Have Your Buyers


Breakeven Campaign

Once You Have Found Your Top Performers, Drill Down Accordingly


Filter by Demographics 2


But don’t forget to look at the other age and gender demographics reports inside your CRM for PPC traffic, as the difference between profitability and not can be what you focus on clearly:


Demographics Bar Graph


Demographics Adwords


While you may not necessarily want to block all of one sex over another, you should at least be applying a bid gradient on all demographics to make the most of your budget.

Here is the bid modification formula I apply to all my demographics dimensions depending on how that data breaks down in AdWords:


Simple Bid Adjustment Formula Used

Simple Bid Adjustment Formula I Use



The more you dial in your campaign from the start, the faster your remarketing campaign that you set up to match this campaign will be killing it for your business as the people you initially intrigued take action, see your ad enough times, and you become top of mind when the purchase decision is being made.

Remarketing like this only works, however, assuming that person was even in the market for what you had to offer in the first place, making how you set up your targeting literally everything when it comes to the level of success you will have with your display campaigns.

Considerations When Using Facebook Ads for Local Display

Using Facebook, targeting is done by “interests” rather than keywords, which are more vague and dynamic in nature.

Thanks to the new upgrade in targeting by interest via Boolean targeting, however, you can easily layer intent to create what seems like the perfect audience to target for your campaigns.


Facebook targeting


With a little split testing and luck, you too will have leads flooding in for a dirt-cheap price. Just keep testing different audience segments until you find one that works for you.


audience segments


Behavioral Targeting

Another great way to target your prospects is by their previous behavior and intent. This is done through Facebook’s “lookalike” audience feature, as well as Google’s own “display select” campaigns.


Set up Behavioral Targeting on Facebook:

Facebook Targeting


Facebook Targeting 3


Set up Behavioral Targeting on AdWords:

 Targeting on AdWords


To give you an example of how intent targeting works, if you were selling sporting goods equipment and wanted to exclusively target people who want to buy a new baseball glove, then for your campaign, you already know you need to target people with high purchase intent who are looking for information about gloves.

What you may not consider at first, however, is that someone who avidly plays baseball may visit a page on how to buy a great baseball glove, but so will someone who is buying one as a gift or someone who is merely doing some research regarding the market, neither of whom are good candidates for selling a high-end glove, if that is the segment of the market you are looking for.

To remedy this predicament, we gather all of that person’s search activity before the click, such as what other pages they visited, to make a real-time decision on whether or not that person should be actually shown an ad, using the data Google and Facebook already have.

You would be surprised what Google and Facebook already know about you and everyone else you are trying to sell to:


Cellphone verification

Phone Verification Allows Them to Know Who Is What and Prove That for You


Facebook Phone Verification

And They Also Track Where I Go, Further Allowing Them to Profile Me


This level of targeting proves to be much more precise than regular display keyword or interest targeting alone, as you can see.


Display Select Campaign


For more in-depth information about display behavioral targeting, please read my separate article on this topic.


Tracking Results

Finding out what you are paying for a lead from your campaign is easy with simple conversion tracking using Google Tag Manager, Tracking Pixels, and a qualified professional to help you set this up.

You can even track call-in leads, back the campaign that generated them, and tie that to an actual ROI percentage earned per campaign and per targeting option inside of AdWords, if you are really serious about getting ROI on your campaigns.

Tracking Results on Google and Facebook




Corey Zieman

Paid Search Strategist

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