Perfecting local PPC campaigns with Google Ads is the biggest challenge in search engine marketing (SEM).
It’s true whether you’re multi-million dollar agency managing ad campaigns for a nationwide health insurance company or an independent hair salon opening your second shop on the other side of town.
To build Google ads local campaigns that drive big ROI, you need to see what your competitors are doing in each market—what ads they’re running, what keywords they’re buying, and what they’re offering to visitors in exchange for their click.
But it’s nearly impossible to get accurate market-level visibility unless you’re sitting in that city and manually plugging keywords into Google one at a time.
And let’s face it…you’re not going to do that.
That’s why I’m excited to show you how a new tool that gives you insights that make it feel like you’ve got a local marketing robot running those Google searches for you every week.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get:
- Local market impression share (to see who’s winning in each market)
- Local market ad copy (to see how your ads compare)
- Screenshots of your local competitors’ landing pages (and their offers)
- Zip code-level search results (like your office is just around the corner)
And you’ll get all of this information, automatically, every single week. Like clockwork.
It ensures that you’ll never spend your budget running uncompetitive ads in a local market. And you’ll never let a local competitor sneak up on you while you’re not looking.
So let’s get started.
Meet your secret weapon for Google Ads local campaigns
If you want on-the-ground local Google Ads insights, there’s only one tool out there that does it—Local SEM Campaign Watch by iSpionage.
SEM Campaign Watch lets you set up projects to track groups of keywords and competitors, either at a national level or a local level that you choose (you can pick a state, city, zip code, or even create a custom area made up of multiple zip codes).
We’ll talk about the local level campaigns today.
To show you how it works, I set up a campaign for CastleDental.com in Waco, TX, to see how a nationwide business (offices in 16 states from Washington DC to Washington state) can keep an eye on their local markets.
I’ll go ahead and show you how to set up the project, since it just takes a minute:
Now let’s take a peek at what goodies iSpionage’s data intelligence bring back for us…
Actionable insights for winning local Google Ads campaigns
See local market share insights:
The first thing you’ll see on your SEM Campaign Watch dashboard is a list of the competitors you’ve chosen to track, along with their impression share and average ad positions:
With only 3% of the impression share and an average ad position of 3, CastleDental.com has some work to do in the Waco, TX market.
If you’re an agency with clients in local businesses, like dentists, plumbers, lawyers, banks, or auto dealerships, you can use this competitive quadrant report to visualize your prospect’s market positioning and identify unseen weaknesses. So you can develop winning proposals that help you close more deals.
Or use it as a report to impress your existing clients —it’s the kind of deep insight that shows them why your agency is indispensable to their business.
Immediately below the plot chart, you’ll see all the important advertisers in that market, their impression share, and their ad position.
We didn’t identify even identify 3 of the top local competitors when we set up the campaign. This report lets us know that they’re out there, so we’ll add them to the campaign to keep an eye on them too.
You’ll see who outranks you in each market and by how much. So you can research the ads they’re running and adjust your bid or keyword strategies accordingly.
This section also helps you find NEW competitors or smaller, local businesses that you may not have even known were lurking out there!
Get Google Ads copy for local markets
Your PPC competitors may use different ad copy in different markets.
In some cases, they’ll even call out their offer in their ad copy, which makes your ads less clickable (if you’re not doing the same).
SEM Campaign Watch reveals the exact ad copy your competitors are running in the market you’ve identified, so you can be sure your message or offer is even more compelling:
Aspendental.com is using different headlines for different keywords. Their ad for “dentists near me” mimics the same language uses in the search—that’s super-smart and a sure conversion-booster!
You’ll see the ad copy AND the keyword that the ad is running for. Use it to break down your top competitors’ strategy and understand how they’re grabbing the top spots.
The competitors in position #1 aren’t always spending the most money.
Google puts a high priority on performance, so if you can use what you learn from your competitors to build ads that get clicked, you’ll see your ad ranks jump without having to spend a penny more.
Browse landing pages (and offers) from your local Google Ads competitors
Getting that click is only part of the PPC game.
If you’re getting clicks but your landing page isn’t converting, then you’re throwing your money away. But on a local level, it can be hard to understand why your ads aren’t converting, especially if they’re converting in other cities.
SEM Campaign Watch can help you discover exactly what’s holding you back.
It scans and archives every landing page for your chosen competitors (and some other relevant brands), so you can see exactly what they’re offering in each market, to find nuggets like this:
In the above screenshot, you’ll see that Castle Dental and Aspen Dental are making the same offer—an exam and x-ray for new patients. But Castle is offering it for $29, and Aspen is giving it away for free.
Which do you think is going to convert better?
And, remember, conversion rate isn’t just about closing sales.
Higher conversion rates on your PPC landing pages can drive up your ad rank and lower your CPC. So making sure your offers are competitive can boost the ROI on your campaigns.
With SEM Campaign Watch, you can just scroll through the landing pages of your local Google Ads competitors to see the headlines and offers that they’re using. See their coupons, sign-up bonuses, discounts, deals, and conversion strategies.
There’s no better way to uncover winning landing page ideas than looking at your competition. This is the easiest way to do that (and the only way to do it at the local level).
See real, local SERP results
This last feature really feels a bit like magic. It’s kind of like teleporting yourself to a desktop in whatever city you choose!
For every keyword you track, you’ll get a screenshot of the Page One Google search results from the local market. So you can see how your ads (and your competitors’ ads) appear on-page and how they line up with the organic search results.
The in-app report gives you the full page 1 screenshot with all organic and paid results.
It’s the next best thing to having a marketing field office everywhere that you or your clients do business!
Start Monitoring Your Competitors’ Google local ads campaigns today
SEM Campaign Watch gives you all the information you need to make smarter, strategic decisions based on real competitive data, rather than throwing ideas out there based on guesses, burning your whole budget on testing, and failing to get the ROI that you should.
Try Local SEM Campaign Watch for Google ads campaigns Risk Free for 30 days
SEM Campaign Watch with Local monitoring is the newest tool in the iSpionage suite of competitive intelligence marketing tools that gives you the complete solution for researching and monitoring both SEO and SEM campaigns.
Get access to SEM Campaign Watch to get better results from your local Google ads campaigns and boost the ROI on your online marketing spend.