Construction Dealership 101: Using Geo-Targeting to Improve Search Performance

If you work at a construction dealership, you know that your advertising needs to be specific and tied to lead generation. There may be millions of contractors, construction firms, dealers, and OEMs across the country, but you only need to reach a small percentage of those people. Otherwise you’re wasting money.
There are a lot of great tools out there that can help. Paid search is, by far, one of the most effective. It puts you in front of people who are actively researching equipment and parts. Heck, they might even be searching to make a purchase at that moment.

You can’t afford to miss these guys.

But how do you know these contractors are the ones you need to reach? I mean, what if your AOR is central Ohio and your click is wasted on a guy in Seattle. You’re out money, right?
In that case, yes. But you can narrow down your audience to a specific geographic region with geo-targeting. It doesn’t hurt that there are some additional benefits that you get when you’re building the right geo-targeted ads.
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The Perks of Geo-targeting

Google processes more than 1.2 trillion search queries every year. That equals to about an average of 40,000 search queries every second or 3.5 billion a day.While search growth is finally beginning to level off, we are seeing differences in the types of devices used.
Blog: The Basics of Search Marketing: What You Need for Success
Mobile device usage, in particular, has grown exponentially. It now accounts for more than half of time spent on digital media. According to the Local Search Association’s Mobile Search Study, growth of mobile local search rose 4 times that of mobile internet use.

Contractors aren’t unique in this regard.

Mobile internet usage has grown among this audience as well. It turns out more than 66% of contractors have internet-enabled phones. More than 53.5% of contractors receive general equipment information on their phone, while another 45.6% receive bid information.
However, improving your organic search rankings is a long-term solution, requiring a lot of work, effort, and know-how. That should be your long-term goal, but you can supplement organic search with paid search ads.

Google even reports that 85% of users click on a paid ad rather than organic.

There is plenty of data to support the use of location based data improving the performance of your dealership’s paid search ads. A common cited and well supported metric is that geo-targeted ads perform two times better than the industry average for non-targeted campaigns.
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Geo-Targeting Best Practices

Geo-targeting can improve your lead generation efforts. But you have to do it right. Let’s talk about a few best practices.

Use geo-aware ads.

Geo-aware ads detect the real-time location of a mobile user and serve a location appropriate message. This message can be adjusted to fit local conditions, season, weather, events, and etc. For instance, if you weatherize equipment during cold winter months, you can set up dynamic geo-aware ads to serve when you enter a certain season or it drops below a certain temperature.

Get regional insights on keyword searches.

Tools like Google Trends can help you get insights into regional search trends for your products and services. You can find search information on national, regional, metro, or city keyword usage. You might find some surprising results. This can help you build more personalized ads based on the equipment search history in your AOR or state.

Include the target location in your ad copy.

If the text ad matches the a contractor’s search query, the relevant ad text will appear in bold. This helps the ad stand out on the page.

Enable call extensions in your ads.

This allows you to put your dealership’s phone number directly into the ad, and it’s a great way to get contractors to directly contact your sales staff. Google reports that around 70% of users call directly from a search ad on their mobile device. Remember to have sales staff in your dealership ready to answer the phone.

Avoid impressions from outside your location.

Google targets your ads not only to people within your specified target location, but also to people who are searching about your location. However, especially when you’re working in your defined AOR, you probably want to avoid spending money on this traffic. This will help you limit wasted impressions and clicks.
The ability to target ads using location data is a powerful tool for construction dealerships. Not only are you reaching relevant contractors, but you’re building a positive ROI. Today, relevant data is available, even for small dealerships, that permit highly local decisions about who, when, where, and how to target your ads.
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