Updated December 2022There’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 just as integral to the travel and tourism industry as the key basics like tour operator insurance. 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, knowing how to create a successful Google Adwords campaign has never been more powerful and important than ever before.

The best thing about Google Ads for tourism is that you can target based on what people are searching for, and where they’re searching from. This makes it perfect for targeting local markets and new customers.

What is a Google Ads local campaign?

Adwords local

Google Ads local campaigns (or Google Adwords local campaigns) are designed for businesses with a physical storefront to provide potential customers with information on how and when to visit their shop. They are helpful for businesses wanting to reach customers that are planning to visit their specific destination. This means that your Google ads can appear to searchers who are either already in your location or have demonstrated interest in it. 

Local campaigns can appear on the Google Search Network, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.

Why create a Google Ads local campaign for your tourism business?

Setting up Google Ads local campaigns are a powerful way to reach customers for any business with a physical location but offer a uniquely impactful service to those in the tour and activity business wanting to engage with specific demographics.

Quickly reach new local customers

Google Ads local campaigns enable tour and travel businesses to promote their services on all of Google’s platforms. Considering that Google has millions of daily users, this opportunity can be an extremely impactful and scalable marketing tool for small businesses.

Maximize your ad spend

Google Ads local campaigns allow you to make the most out of your advertising budget by purposefully displaying your ads to relevant audiences. This minimizes accidental clicks that could contribute to a lower conversion rate and increased CPA.

Establish a local presence

How to improve Google adwords campaign performance

As Google Ads local campaigns help to ensure that your business secures a high ranking in relevant searches on Google, it inevitably assists in establishing a local presence. Running a Google Ads local campaign can also help solidify your place as a leading and competitive local business simply by raising brand awareness.

Drive local traffic to your site

The primary purpose of Google Ads local campaign is to drive local traffic to your site. With an easily navigable website and a campaign that ticks all of the boxes in our Google Adwords checklist, your business can effortlessly increase your online bookings.

How to optimize your Google Ads local campaign

Without further ado, here are six tips for creating and running an effective marketing campaign with Google Adwords.

1. Use tools for local keyword research

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]


  • [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.

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 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

2. Location targeting

Google also allows you to select where you want your ads to appear. This enables 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 London and you think someone would book your activity during a day trip, you could target a 50 mile radius from London, the perfect distance for one-day road trips. Alternatively, if you were a vineyard in Napa Valley, where travelers usually go for a weekend getaway, you could target a 300 mile radius from Napa Valley, because people are willing to travel a little further for those weekend getaways.

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

3. Location 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 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. 

4. Optimize your landing pages

How to create a successful Google adwords campaign

In order to understand how to improve Google Adwords campaign performance, it’s important to take an all-encompassing approach when optimizing your landing pages. Optimization includes paying close attention to the following aspects of your site that impact overall user experience:

Site speed

Site speed impacts overall website performance as users are much more likely to click out of your website if they experience a lag in loading time. Ensuring satisfactory site speed will help capture the attention of users clicking on your ad.

Providing relevant content

After clicking on your ad, users will expect the page to provide them with engaging content that reflects the message of your ad. If your landing page is vague or not customized to suit the ad, users are more likely to feel misled and exit your site.

Site navigation

Pay attention to the layout of your website. Does it walk users through the booking process and provide links to pages with supporting information? 


Did you know that over 40% of travel bookings in the US are made on a mobile device? To support the users that will click on your ad on a mobile device, it is critical that you ensure your site is optimized for mobiles.

Mobile optimization is an umbrella term that refers to improving the following aspects of your website:

  • Site speed
  • Navigation
  • Layout and design
  • Minimizing the amounts of steps it takes for users to complete an action on your website

5. Track conversions with Google Tag Manager

To fully harness the benefits of Google local campaigns, it’s recommended that businesses track conversions with Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager allows you to deploy Google Ads conversion tags, which can be utilized to create detailed reports that outline what happens after a customer clicks on your ad. Depending on your website, this action could be signing up to your newsletter, downloading a PDF, calling your business’ phone number or completing a booking. If you set one of these actions as valuable, it will count as a conversion.

Gaining a clearer oversight of conversion rates and the behavior of your customer base is extremely important when managing a successful Google Adwords campaign. These in-depth insights will enable you to optimize your campaign and more astutely manage your ad spend. 

6. 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

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.

Make the most out of your Google Ads local campaign with Rezdy

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. Or, if a large percentage of your bookings come from third party sellers, a booking software that offers booking system integrations can further increase your bookings and support key business partnerships. 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 – 6 ways to improve your Google Ads local campaigns – then make sure to subscribe to the Rezdy newsletter. 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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