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Local Online Advertising Delivers Targeted Audiences

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Paid search advertising

Local online advertising is effective for local businesses that want to target ads to specific geographic areas.

Many local advertisers understand the concept of targeting ads in print, cable and especially direct mail. But they often struggle with how to do it online. They have to create the targeting instead of media account executives who usually do it for them in offline media.

They create the targeting because that’s one reason why online advertising is much cheaper than offline. They do the work instead of account executives.

Business owners understand that local newspapers are delivered mainly to local readers. Radio and TV stations only reach local listeners and viewers. Cable companies provide service only to local customers.

But a website is accessible to the entire world.

A local business owner doesn’t need people in Dubai or the Ukraine to see the ads. Those people are highly unlike to shop at the advertiser’s business in a place such as Charlottesville, Virginia.

There are three simple ways to target local online advertising.

1) Buy Ads on Local Sites

Some sites obviously target local audiences. Examples include the sites of local media mentioned above — newspaper, radio, TV and cable.

Quite a few local guides have been making their presence felt in recent years. They present another opportunity.

It is critically important to ask that the campaign use ad serving software with the ability to target geographically. It also needs to block any visitors from outside the area, state or country.

Keep in mind that targeting by city runs a higher risk of inaccuracy. Software and cookies that track user behavior have limitations.

In addition, the U.S. is a transient society with people willing to drive many miles between home and work. It is better to target a cluster of nearby cities that limiting the campaign to just one.

It is more difficult for ad serving software to identify correctly a visitor who really is within the state but not within the local area.

2) Buy Ads on National Sites with Local Channels

Many national sites are reaching into local markets in an attempt to capture local advertising.

Examples include major employment sites such as Monster, auto sites such as AutoTrader and realtor sites such as Realtor.com.

A hospital that needs to hire more nurses and wants to raise the presence of its job postings on an employment site may not want to hire someone from 2,000 miles away and pay the hefty expenses of moving that person.

So they target their ads geographically and confine the target to its own state.

3) Buy Ads on Networks with Local Distribution

Several major national sites are so big that they have the ability to reach deeply into local markets. They include Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Facebook.

An advertiser can research sites that have a local presence and place a campaign only on those sites.

It’s important to experiment with several sites and several campaign types to see which ones produce the best return on investment.

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