Even A Beginner Can Dominate Local Google Ads With These 5 Powerful Tips

Google Ads is one of the easiest and most important tools in your digital marketing toolbox and when used properly can have major results for a locally based business. As the biggest marketing platform on the planet (considerably larger than Facebook) Google can introduce your business to nearly 85% of your market for as little as a cent a click.

Luxe Landscaping


Groups (Categories)


Vanity Keywords

Google's local reach is unrivaled.

81% Start At Search

Buyers will search for what they need on a mobile device. Make sure your website, sales page and all landing pages are responsive. We can help!

1. Research first, research often and build your campaign out categorically.

You’ll start by researching keywords that are relevant to your business by searching Google as your customers would. Compile a list with as many related and relevant keywords as you can think of before you start grouping them. These related groups of keywords will become your campaigns.

Now that you have your list of keywords, you’re going to categorize each of those keywords into various groups (in digital marketing speak, we call them ad groups).

To the left I’ve put together an easy-to-follow example for a local landscaping company.  First you break down your relevant keywords (backyard design, grass cutting, lawn care, etc.) and these keywords are usually your main sources of revenue.

Your campaigns will focus on specific services or products. For Luxe Landscaping I used lawn care and grass cutting as part of the overall Lawn Care group (campaign) and the higher dollar service offering (design services) are a separate group or campaign.

Organization is crucial when you’re planning out a digital marketing campaign for your business. The better organized you are and the better prepared you are, the easier it will be for you to make changes, retarget and keep that ROI increasing with each new campaign.

2. Keywords come first so make sure they're relevant to your ad copy

Spy on your competitors by using Google searches to determine what keywords they’re targeting because you’ll want to target those exact same ones!

If the keyword phrase you’re targeting is lawn mowing service, make sure you include Lawn Mowing in your ad copy. Potential customers searching for their lawncare needs want to find the best, but they want to find you easily, so make sure you get noticed.

3. Target locally. Target by radius. Target mindfully.

What am I getting at here? Targeting! You have keywords, you have your ad copy, and now you need to make sure your actual customers will see and no one else. If you’re based in Irving, Texas, every single click from neighboring Plano is costing you money with no possibility for a return. Target Irving and only Irving (unless you do business in Plano, of course).

Target your demographic. Renters in apartments, teens and 20-something-year-olds are probably not going to pay for lawn care, so they shouldn’t even see your ad.

Target homeowners, married or single, with or without children. Target retiree homeowners.

If you do business outside your physical location city, consider adding a radius. Ten miles beyond your city, but it’s often even better to select specific cities. Choose the cities you know well and know your demographic lives in that area. After all, a lower income area may not be as interested in paying someone else to design their landscaping.

4. Become a competitor sniper.

Some of your most successful campaigns will be designed with your leading competitor in mind. Target your competitor as a keyword (Black Diamond in my example) and run an ad comparing your company to your competitor. When a local searches for your competitor, you want to make sure your company name is in their face forcing them to know you.

5. Always use your own name as a top keyword.

You may not see the value in using your own business name as a keyword. After all, if someone is searching for Luxe Landscaping, why pay to introduce yourself to them – they already know you. True, but it’s not enough these days. A single ad by your competitor targeting your company’s name can be enough to steal a sale that would normally be yours. 

Run ads using your own name consistently. This will ensure your competitors can’t so easily snipe your name and sneak away with your customers.

Picture of J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.