Google Ads For Local Business [11+ Tips]

Are you looking to boost your online presence and drive more traffic to your website? Look no further than Google Ads. This powerful advertising platform allows local businesses to reach their target audience and increase their online visibility.

Does Google Ads still work in 2024?

The answer is yes! You can still make this work, even in 2024.

With so many businesses utilizing Google Ads, it can be challenging to stand out and see real results. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make the most out of your Google Ads campaigns for your local business and see a significant return on your investment.

  1. Act like a local
  2. Split out your campaigns
  3. Use geo-targeting
  4. Expand the keyword list with location keywords
  5. Don’t limit yourself
  6. Use negative keywords
  7. Track your phone calls
  8. Monitor your search queries
  9. Use ad scheduling
  10. Use location extensions
  11. Use local search ads

Extra tip: optimise, optimise, optimise.

Now, let’s dig into these tips a little bit further.

Tip #1: Act like a local!

You probably don’t have a marketing like the “big guys”, so you’ll have to be smart. By emphasising the fact that you’re a local business you can beat them on your turf.

Nobody knows your area as well as you. 

See this example of a locksmith on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They mention in their headlines, description lines, ad extensions and even brand name that they’re locals!

No big company with an office in the CBD will be able to compete with this.

Screenshot of local Sydney business on Google Ads.

Tip #2: Split out your campaigns

Being a local requires you to split out your Google Ads campaigns. 

You want to create 2 separate campaigns:

  1. A location targeting campaign. In this campaign, you can use more generic keywords (eg. “plumbing service”) but only target the area that you service. 
  2. A location keyword campaign. In this campaign, you use suburb specific keywords (eg. “plumbing service sydney”) and target a larger area.

Tips #3 to #5 will dig deeper into these 2 campaign types.

Tip #3: Use geo-targeting

For the location targeting campaign, you only want to target the area that you actually serve.

You can either use radius targeting (where you draw a circle around your business address), put in each of the suburbs individually, or use postcodes for this. It depends on your business which option you want to use.

Screenshot of radius targeting in Google Ads.
Screenshot of radius targeting in Google Ads.

Tip #4: Expand keyword list with location keywords

Once you split out your campaigns, you can expand your Google Ads keyword list with location related keywords.

Location keywords are related to a certain suburb, council, city or even country.

They can be described as long tail keywords, meaning there’s likely to be less competition than the more generic keywords in your list. Therefore there will be a lower cost-per-click (CPC) on these keywords and you will be able to achieve higher ad rankings.

Although one of these keywords won’t give you that much extra traffic, all together they can significantly increase your reach. Also, as they’re more relevant you’ll be able to write better ads, improve your average click-through rate (CTR) and improve your conversion rate (CVR).

As they’re more relevant you will also be able to achieve a higher Google Quality Score, which could potentially reduce the CPC of all the keywords in your account.

Tip #5: don’t limit yourself

How many keywords can you add you ask? A lot!

For example, for a business servicing North Sydney and Sydney’s Northern Beaches you will already be able to add the following suburb keywords:

  • Allambie Heights
  • Avalon
  • Balgowlah Heights
  • Balgowlah
  • Bayview
  • Beacon Hill
  • Belrose
  • Bilgola
  • Bilgola Plateau
  • Brookvale
  • Church Point
  • Clareville
  • Clontarf
  • Coasters Retreat
  • Collaroy Plateau
  • Collaroy
  • Cottage Point
  • Cromer
  • Curl Curl
  • Davidson
  • Dee Why
  • Duffys Forest
  • Elanora Heights
  • Elvina Bay
  • Fairlight
  • Forestville
  • Frenchs Forest
  • Freshwater
  • Great Mackerel Beach
  • Ingleside
  • Killarney Heights
  • Lovett Bay
  • Manly Vale
  • Manly
  • Mona Vale
  • Morning Bay
  • Narrabeen North
  • Narrabeen
  • Narraweena
  • Newport
  • North Balgowlah
  • North Curl Curl
  • North Manly
  • Oxford Falls
  • Palm Beach
  • Queenscliff
  • Scotland Island
  • Seaforth
  • Terrey Hills
  • Warriewood
  • Whale Beach
  • Wheeler Heights

Depending on where you’re potential customers are, you would be able to extend this list further. For our clients were able to significantly improve the performance of their Google Ads campaigns using location keywords.

Tip #6: Use negative keywords

To filter out irrelevant traffic, make sure that you create a list of suburbs/areas that you don’t service.

By adding this as a negative keyword list to your campaigns, people who include this in their search query won’t see your ad, even if they’re located within your location targeting. 

This will help you focus on clicks that will give you actual potential customers. 

Tip #7: Track your phone calls

You want to make sure that you track all of your conversions.

If you’re a local business that has a phone number on your site, make sure that you track your phone calls. Google offers free forwarding numbers to local businesses in Australia. All you need to do is add the script to your website.

Tip #8: Monitor your search queries

Although you would want to set up a tight keyword list, your ad might pop up for irrelevant search queries.

Especially if you’re working with a small budget, you want to filter these out as much as possible. 

Google Ads allows you to pull a search query report. By going through this report you’ll be able to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords to your campaigns.

You’re able to find this report in Google Ads by going to your Keywords tab and then go to Search Terms.

In the Added/Excluded you’re able to see if a keyword is added already or not:

Screenshot of search terms report in Google Ads.

So if I’m not servicing Adelaide, based on the example above I can add the keyword “adelaide” to my negative keyword list.

Tip #9: Use ad scheduling

If you’re running a local business, it might not make sense for you to get leads when you’re not there to follow up straight away.

Google Ads gives the opportunity to use a time schedule. That way you can turn off your ads during certain hours. For example in the weekends or even during the week outside office hours.

Tip #10: Use location extensions

The big benefit as a local business is that you’re close to your customers. You want your customers to know that as well!

Google Ads gives the opportunity to show your address within your ad. These are called location extensions. As a local business, it’s highly recommended to set this up.

Screenshot of location extension within Google.

To enable this you will need to set up a Google Business Profile and link this with your Google Ads account.

Keep in mind, that to process to verify the location in your Google Business Profile will take a few weeks. Google will send a postcard to your address with a unique code to verify this.

Tip #11: Use local search ads

Local search ads will show up when customers are searching on Google Maps.

It promotes your Google Business Profile, using the location extensions. You will need to include Search Partners in your campaigns to make sure local search ads will show.

This setting is on a campaign level in your Google Ads account. 

Extra tip: Optimise, optimise, optimise

Google Ads has a lot of data available.

There’s no such thing as set and forget. To get maximum results out of your campaigns you will need to constantly optimise based on this data.

This means that you will need to change your keyword bids, pause underperforming keywords, add new keywords, test different ad copy’s, tweak your campaign setting and much, much more.

It’s the only way to improve your ROI.


Google Ads can be a game-changer for your business, but it’s essential to approach it strategically. By understanding your target audience, conducting thorough keyword research, continuously monitoring and optimizing your campaigns, tracking your data, and utilizing ad extensions, you can make Google Ads work for you and see a significant return on your investment.

So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips and watch your online presence and business grow.”


  1. What is Google Ads?

    Google Ads is Google’s pay per click (PPC) advertising platform, formerly known as Google AdWords. By using Google Ads you can reach potential customers on the Google Search and Display Network.

  2. How does the Google ad auction work?

    Google uses hundreds of factors to decide the ad ranking and this is being re-calculated for each search query. In general, Google looks at the bid and the relevancy of each advertiser for a particular keyword.

  3. What is the Google Quality Score?

    The Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 that shows how relevant your keyword to a particular search query. A low Quality Score shows that your keyword is totally irrelevant, while a high Quality Score means that it’s spot on and that you’re offering exactly what visitors are looking for.

  4. How can I improve my Quality Score?

    If you can increase the relevance of your campaign, you will get higher Quality Scores. This will significantly decrease your cost per click so that you can squeeze more clicks and conversions out of your budget.

  5. Is Google Ads right for my local business?

    Google Ads can be a great tool for promoting your local business. With its targeted advertising options, you can reach potential customers in your area and drive more traffic to your business. Additionally, Google Ads offers various features such as location extensions and call extensions that can help customers find and contact your business easily. It also allows you to set a budget and only pay for clicks or conversions, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses. Overall, Google Ads can be a valuable tool for increasing visibility and driving sales for your local business.

  6. Do I need any marketing experience?

    No, you do not need any marketing experience to use Google Ads. The platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible for all levels of experience. However, having some basic knowledge of marketing principles and strategies can help you create more effective campaigns. Google also offers resources and tutorials to help beginners get started with Google Ads.You can also consider hiring a Google Ads consultant to help you out.

  7. How do I know if my ads are working?

    There are a few ways to determine if your Google Ads are working effectively:1. Monitor your click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it. A high CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and engaging to your target audience.2. Track conversions: Conversions are actions that you want users to take after clicking on your ad, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. By tracking conversions, you can see if your ads are driving the desired actions.3. Use Google Analytics: This tool can provide valuable insights into the performance of your ads, such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per session.Overall, regularly monitoring and analysing these metrics can help you determine if your Google Ads are working effectively and make any necessary adjustments to improve their performance.

  8. How do I target local customers?

    To target local customers on Google Ads, follow these steps:1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.2. Click on the “Campaigns” tab.3. Click on the blue “plus” button to create a new campaign.4. Select “Search Network” as your campaign type.5. Choose your campaign goal and click “Continue.”6. Under “Locations,” click on “Edit” and enter the location you want to target.7. You can also select a radius around the location or choose specific cities or regions.8. Click “Save” and then “Save and Continue.”9. Set your budget and bidding options.10. Create your ad groups and ads.11. Use location-specific keywords in your ad copy.12. Monitor and adjust your campaign as needed to reach your target audience effectively.

  9. What should I write in my ads?

    Here are some things you can mention in your ads:1. Attention-grabbing headline: Start with a catchy headline that will immediately grab the attention of your target audience.2. Unique selling proposition (USP): Highlight what sets your product or service apart from your competitors. This could be a special offer, a unique feature, or a benefit that your customers can’t find elsewhere.3. Call-to-action (CTA): Encourage your audience to take action by including a clear and compelling call-to-action. This could be “Shop now,” “Sign up today,” or “Learn more.”4. Keywords: Use relevant keywords in your ad copy to ensure that your ads are shown to the right audience.

  10. How do I add my local business information?

    To add your local business information to Google Ads, follow these steps:1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.2. Click on the “Tools & Settings” icon in the top right corner.3. Under “Setup,” select “Business information.”4. Click on the blue “Edit” button next to “Local business information.”5. Enter your business name, address, phone number, and website URL.6. Click “Save” to update your information.Your local business information will now be visible in your Google Ads account and can be used in your ad campaigns. It is important to keep this information up-to-date to ensure potential customers can easily find and contact your business.

  11. How can I track phone calls from my ads?

    To track phone calls from your Google Ads, you can use call extensions or call-only ads. These features allow you to add a phone number to your ad and track the calls that come through. You can also use call tracking software or a Google forwarding number to track the calls and gather data on their performance. Additionally, you can set up conversion tracking for phone calls to see how many calls resulted in a conversion or sale.

About Vazooky Digital

Vazooky Digital is a boutique Google Ads agency based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. If you need any help with improving your local Google Ads campaigns, please get in touch.

Share this:

By Jeroen

Having worked as a PPC freelancer for many years, Jeroen helps businesses to get more results out of their online advertising budgets.

He is the founder of Vazooky Digital, a Google Ads agency in Sydney, Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *