Go local: How to use local PPC ads for your small travel business

Have you been spending hours on end, struggling to understand why, in spite of your best efforts, your PPC ads aren’t delivering the results you wanted?

Yeah, me too. I’ve been there.

My epiphany came when I understood that unless I have plans for world domination, there’s no point in wasting clicks and money on irrelevant traffic from prospects all over the world.

So, I changed my strategy, and you should probably do the same.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and setting the bar high for yourself. It can bring out the motivation inside you to succeed. But, what happens most of the time is that due to the excitement of new beginnings, you aren’t able to accurately assess the market and how you are positioned within it. Especially if you are just starting out with your small travel business, do yourself a favor and be as objective as you can.

Try this: clear your mind and think about your situation in an entirely different way. Yes, you’re a small business that wants to reach as many people as possible to get the best results. The natural instinct would be to invest a significant portion of your budget in massive PPC ad campaigns, thinking it’s a surefire way to reach a larger number of prospective clients.

But think about it!

Could you really compete with a larger travel business that has already established itself as a huge brand and probably has a massive marketing budget? The answer is probably not.

What you can do, however, is compete with them on a local level, in an area that they don’t control or know as well as you do. Rethink your PPC strategy following these tips, and you’ll surely see some positive changes!

Work within your budget

This one goes without being said, but I’m still going to mention it, just to be sure. As a business owner, you’re probably aware of the crucial importance the budget holds. As a small travel business with, most likely, a very limited budget, you should try to make sure you spend your money on the services or products that will bring you the highest return on your investment.

I know that promoting everything you have to offer is very tempting, but focusing on the most valuable elements you have is the best strategy you can follow for your PPC campaigns.

Taylor everything to your needs

Generic, vague ad campaigns will only get you so far. For the best results, you need to customise your local PPC ads to your specific audience and searching segments.

One of your biggest advantages as a small travel business is that you know the local audience better than anyone else. Use Google’s keyword tool to understand better what your prospects are looking for. Make sure to segment your ads based on the location and your audience’s search queries. For instance, if a lot of people are looking for “travel agency in London,” your ads should match that phrase.

Customise your landing pages

Another element that should be customised according to your location and keyword groups is the landing page. Just think about it: you’ve worked tirelessly to create ads that touch on the pain points of your prospects. You’ve convinced them that you have the solution to their problems. Then, they click on the ad and land on your homepage or worst on a landing page that has no connection to the promise you made in the ad.

Bye, potential leads.

The purpose of your local PPC ads is to drive prospects to a landing page and then hopefully convince them to move further down the sales funnel.

Make sure your landing page has relevant content for your customers and that it offers what they’re looking for. Make everything available and use a format that is easy to navigate, so that your customers don’t have to search for something in particular and waste time or lose interest. As mentioned above, matching your ad content to your landing pages is crucial.

Use long tailed keywords

Long-tailed keywords (searches that contain more than three keywords) are vital to the success of your local PPC ad campaign. Take into consideration the fact that most prospects use descriptive phrases to look for the things they are interested in, and they usually add the location, as well.

Make sure you use the right keywords, so you can make it easier for people to find your travel business. First, think about the particular market you serve and the different keywords that accurately describe it. Then, add the location aspect, and insert keywords that are related to the area your business serves.

Although this will filter out a lot of potential customers that may not match one or more of your criteria you express through your keywords, it will help you reach the desired, targeted audience that is more likely to convert and become customers.

Use negative keywords

If you are not already, then you should consider including negative keywords in your local PPC ads. There can be many instances where people search for things that match with your ad campaign, but that do not exclude keywords that are not related to your business at all.

For example, let’s say your travel business offers a variety of travel packages, except for mountain resort packages. However, the keyword “mountain resort packages” is related to “vacation packages,” so there’s a high possibility to get traffic from people looking for mountain resort vacations. You don’t want to disappoint your prospects, so it’s better to exclude that category from your ad altogether.

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t compete with the big wolves yet. Most importantly, don’t be afraid of narrowing your audience to a more specific segment and invest in local PPC ad campaigns. After a while, you will notice that these changes will only bring your small travel business positive outcomes.