Updated July 2022 – There’s no doubt that Google is one of the most popular search engines used by billions every day. It’s definitely one of the first avenues travelers head to for travel recommendations.

With the continuous rise in Google’s products hub and the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the digital age, it has become a prominent part of the travel and tourism industry. By incorporating Google into your digital marketing strategy, you’ll soon boost your incoming foot traffic offline and reel new customers in-store.

As tour operators begin to shift focus toward local markets due to the rise in domestic travel, setting up Google ads local campaigns has never been more powerful and important than ever before.

The best thing about Google Adwords is that you can target based on what people are searching for, and where they’re searching from. It’s perfect for targeting local markets and new customers.

Before we get started

  • If you’re not familiar with Google Adwords, we recommend checking out our Google Adwords masterclass first
  • If you haven’t already, we also recommend understanding the basics of local SEO for tour operators. This will help boost the relevance of your ads, boosting the performance of your campaign.

So without further ado, here are four tips for creating a successful local advertising campaign with Google Adwords.

1. Create a Local Keyword List

The most important thing to building your Google ads local campaigns is finding the right keywords. By understanding the specific keywords people are searching for, and using it within your ad campaigns, you’ll appear at the top of the search results list.

Brainstorm as many local keywords as you can

As mentioned in our local SEO guide, start with the formula behind local search queries.

Navigational Query:
[Descriptive Word] + [Product/ Service] + [Geographical Word]
Some Examples:
Best + Escape Room + Sydney
Cheap + Escape Room + Near Me
Space themed + Escape Room + Sydney City

Transactional Query:
[Product/ Service] + [ Transactional Word] + [Geographical Word]
Or
[Your Company] + [Transactional Word]
Some Examples:
Escape Room + Prices + Sydney
Escape Room + Pricing + Sydney
Escape Room + Group Pricing + Sydney
Reactor Escape Room + Adult Price

As long as you keep each element of the queries in mind, you’ll be able to brainstorm all your local keywords easily. Use the example above to create a list of keywords.

Filter out the best Keywords with the Ubersuggest Chrome Extension

Once you’ve got your keyword list, we highly recommend downloading the Ubersuggest chrome extension that was just recently released.

adwords local

Here’s how to use it:
Search for your keywords on Google Search

That’s it. All you need to do is literally type your search query into Google and the Chrome extension will tell you the typical cost per click associated with that keyword and the monthly search volume for the keyword.

It’ll also provide you with a list of similar keywords with the search volumes and costs per click associated with those keywords.

adwords travel

It’s a great way to test and see which of your keywords from your keyword list would be the most value for money while helping you identify potential gaps in your keyword list.

Use this to create a final list of your best keywords that you’ll be using for your Adwords local campaign.

2. Use Location Targeting

Google also allows you to select where you want your ads to appear. This allows you to choose which users your ads appear to depending on where they’re searching from.

Think of the location groups of where your future customers would be. Keep in mind that due to current travel trends, most people will only likely be doing one-day road trips or weekend getaways to nearby locations.

A great way to do this is to use the radius targeting options under ‘advanced targeting’.

How to setup your Google ads local campaigns

For example, if you were based in Sydney and you think someone would book your activity during a day trip, you could target a 100km radius from Sydney, the perfect distance for one-day road trips. Alternatively, if you were a vineyard in the Hunter Valley where travelers usually go for a weekend getaway, you could target a 400-500km radius from the Hunter Valley, because people are willing to travel a little further for those weekend getaways.

Exclusions

You could also exclude people who live in other wine regions. Similarly, for any tours & activities business, consider the areas you should be excluded from your campaign.

Location Targeting Options

using target locations in our google ads local campaign

Finally, consider your location targeting options. For local Adwords campaigns, we recommend selecting “People in or regularly in your targeted locations”.

Selecting people who showed interest in or people searching for your location might cause your ads to appear to those that are outside your targeted locations. This could even be people searching from overseas that are planning a trip to your location in the future. However, since our priority is local travel, we’d want to avoid that.

3. Location Ad Extensions

4 tips to improving your google ads local campaign

Adding location extensions is a great way to boost the relevance of your ad. Why? Because when someone is searching for things to do nearby, Google will try its best to display nearby activities. Even more so if your business location is verified.

Boosting the relevance of your ad assets increases the performance of your entire campaign. Using this local ads method is a cost effective way to increase your your exposure and local store visits.

The location extension allows you to display your address on your Google Ad so people will be able to view your physical locations.

Tip: You’ll need to link your Google Ads account to your Google My Business account for this to work best. If you’d like to implement this, follow the steps here.

Call Extensions

To make it easier for people to get in touch with your business, it may also be worth setting up a call extension for your ad. By doing so, your phone number will be displayed on the ad, allowing viewers to simply click on the number to call.

This opens up great opportunities to answer any questions your potential customers might have and convince them to book right away.

Tip: All the extension options can be found in the extensions tab of Google Adwords.

4. Work with other local businesses

Keywords that are more general such as ‘things to do near me’ are a little more expensive because search volumes for these phrases are extremely high. It’s also applicable to multiple different businesses, meaning that many other businesses are competing for it.

There are plenty of keywords similar to this such as:

  • What to do this weekend
  • Things to do near XXX
  • Places to visit in XXX

While it’s expensive to capture these people, it’s extremely useful because they’re looking to book an experience, they just don’t know what yet.

So how do you advertise to them in a cost-effective way? It’s simple, work with other local businesses within your area.

To get started, create a list of things to do in your area. Include other tours & activities (so long they’re not your direct competition), restaurants, attractions, etc. You could then create a landing page for all these other business profiles that link straight to their website or booking page.

By working with other local businesses to create a joint campaign, you have the power to increase your daily budget which will help you strengthen your bidding strategy against other competing businesses. Thus, increasing your chances of higher exposure rates and conversion value.

Wrap-up

AdWords is an incredibly powerful tool in boosting your Google local campaigns. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to implement a local advertising campaign. However, these are just some simple, easy-to-implement steps that are the most time and cost-effective.

Once you’ve set up a new campaign and begin to see some conversion action, it’s important that you’re able to provide your customers with a simple booking journey.

By integrating your website with an online booking software like Rezdy, you’ll be able to accept incoming bookings from your Google ads local campaign 24/7.

A booking software provides your customers with the flexibility to book whenever they want. They can simply select from your real-time availability, make secure online payments on the spot and receive instant confirmation. This helps them to build confidence in your business.

Ready to accept bookings coming from your Google Ads local campaigns? Start your FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy or book a demo session with us to see how Rezdy can fit within your business.

If you enjoyed this article – 4 ways to improve your Google Ads local campaigns – then make sure to subscribe to our Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and tour operator tips designed with businesses like yours in mind.

Written By – Blake Ng– Product Marketing Manager, Rezdy

Blake is a travel videographer with a love for storytelling. He has years of experience in sales and marketing from multiple travel startups and a cricket farm in Cambodia. He is currently a content marketer at Rezdy.

 

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