Imagine you’re a plumber working in Chicago. You know the yellow pages aren’t generating leads like they used to. Instead your prospects are looking for your services online and most likely they’re looking on Google. So you know it’s important to be on the first page of Google to be found. The problem is that there are hundreds of other plumbers in Chicago who’ve came to the same conclusion. So now you’re all competing for the top 10 spots on Google.

Google Local Pack

Yet, you’re not competing for the top 10 spots on Google. You’re all looking to be in the top 3.

That’s because Google has a 3 pack of local business on the first page, effectively taking away most of the spots. Most of these are businesses close to the person performing the search.

Showing up at 15 or 20 may seem like an achievement, but if someone has a leaky faucet, they're not going to call a number of plumbers. They may talk to 2 or 3 at the most. So if being on the first page of Google is crucial to getting calls for your business, how do you achieve it when the odds are stacked against you.

The answer if you’re a plumber, a remodeler or any business in a large locale is pay per click. You can reach the first page of Google and do it in a manner of minutes, not months as what is often needed for SEO. Local SEO should always be part of your marketing plan, but so too should pay per click. Yes, there is cost involved with each click, but if you're generating legitimate leads this cost will be more than made up in revenue.

The Advantages of Pay Per Click for Local SEO Marketing.

Buying your way onto the first page of Google is the main advantage of pay per click, but it has other benefits, as well.

You control when your ads run and where. You might cover just parts of Chicago or San Diego or whatever metropolitan area.

Site links can encourage customers to click on more than just your landing page. They could go to a coupon page or a page about a specific service.

You can show up for specific services, not just general terms. While many people might type in Chicago plumbers, they’re most likely typing in something like clogged drain or leaky faucet. Your ads can literally run for hundreds of different phrases.

You can find other terms to target for SEO. By looking at the search terms people use to find your ads, you will likely find new terms to use for your local SEO campaign. People constantly change the way they search so this allows you to find out these new search terms.

You can change the text of your ad or your offer right away, something you can’t so with your meta descriptions (at least not how they’re displayed). You can test the text used on an ad so you can learn which description has the best results. More importantly you can fashion your ad to what is taking place in your community. For example, if a hail storm occurs, a roofer can target people immediately who need their roofs inspected.

Yet, for all the advantages of pay per click, there is one obvious disadvantage, the cost. Bidding on certain keywords in major markets can be as much as 50 dollars a click and that's a conservative figure. I've seen a 500-dollar daily budget eaten up in a matter of a couple of hours.  This is why you need to make sure you're not just targeting your market, but that they respond to your offer or your website.

I recommend all my clients keep pay per click management as part of their local SEO marketing campaign. The goal is to make the phone ring with relevant customers on the other end. This is what a well done pay per click campaign can do