A Beginner’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising

Contributed by Cailey Kidman

Even if you aren’t trying to reach a global audience, your online presence is vital for generating leads and attracting new customers. However, a local digital advertising strategy will differ from other digital marketing strategies because you have a narrower audience and target specific channels.

Explore how local digital advertising can help your business and learn six local advertising ideas to get you started.

What Is Local Digital Advertising?

Local digital advertising is an online marketing strategy that targets local customers through paid content. It works well for small businesses or those with local services who don’t need to reach customers on the national or international level.

Paying for a general ad that will appear in someone’s search query on the other side of the country wastes time and resources. Instead, you can target those within your community through digital local advertising efforts that combine knowledge of local searches with popular channels in your community. This maximizes your returns by reaching quality leads most likely to purchase from you.

The Importance of Having a Local Online Presence

Your online presence is essential for providing information, attracting leads, and communicating with customers. About 85% of consumers perform online research before making a purchase. If your business doesn’t appear in those searches, you will miss out on potential new customers. You don’t need to have a broad audience group for digital advertising to be effective. Even small businesses or those with a niche audience can benefit from local digital ads.

Digital advertising is one way to spread brand awareness and guarantee you show up in more searches. It works best alongside other advertising methods. Direct mail is the most effective form of local advertising, making up 22.7% of ad revenue. Online local advertising comes in second at 17% of revenue but continues to grow in popularity.

6 Ways to Get Started with Local Digital Advertising

Use these six local advertising examples to start your business’s local area digital marketing efforts:

PPC Using Local Search Keywords

Over 76% of customers who search for a local business will visit that business within 24 hours. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush will give local keyword that your potential customers often use. Google is on your side and will often prioritize local results in search queries but targeting your location through keywords will increase your rankings further.

Your location-specific keyword should include industry terms and synonyms, like your products or services. You can create a long-tail keyword with less competition by adding popular modifiers, like the terms “best,” “one-day delivery,” or a specific occasion. To make the search local, add a location to your keyword.

For example, a small bakery in Virginia could use the keyword “best cupcakes in Arlington” in their advertising to get their content in front of their community.

Once you find your keywords, you have several options for how you use these phrases. You can get free local advertising by using those keywords throughout your online content. Otherwise, you can invest in Google ads or other PPC options where you bid on keywords for your ads. When you set up your PPC ad on Google or other search engine, be sure to include location settings that focus on a specific zip code or region.

Google My Business Listing

About 46% of Google searches are looking for local results. Google pulls search results from online content and its own database called Google My Business. This is a collection of business listings that help consumers find information, including:

  • Hours of operation
  • Contact information
  • Reviews
  • Products
  • Special accommodations
  • Directions
  • Images

Your business profile is a way to update customers in real-time and connect with potential customers. You can also communicate directly with customers through your profile.

Local Directory Listings

While Google My Business is one of the most popular online business directories, it isn’t your only option. There are several other directory sites to consider for increasing your visibility. Nearly 88% of consumers shop locally once a week, and 90% of purchases occur within 15 miles from a consumer’s home or office.

The number of directories you are part of increases your chances of appearing in searches.

Improve your local advertising by claiming and promoting your listings on sites like:

  • Yelp
  • Apple Maps
  • LinkedIn Company Directory
  • Bing
  • HubSpot
  • Yellowbook
  • Moz
  • Angi
  • Foursquare
  • Yahoo
  • MapQuest
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Thumbtack
  • Nextdoor

Pay careful attention to all your business profile options and take advantage of every profile area. Anything you enter in your profile can be a local keyword search term and improves your rankings and relevance for users.

Local Influencer Advertising


Social Media Ads

Over 4.48 billion people use social media. That is over half of the world’s population. Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with over 2.9 million users, followed by YouTube with 2.5 million users.

About 62% of businesses use Facebook for their marketing, with some reporting conversion rates of 9.2%. One of the reasons it is so successful for advertising is that about 15% of consumers use the platform for finding and purchasing products. Additionally, Instagram is also a popular channel for advertising as 70% of shoppers use it to discover new products.

If you advertise through a social media platform, use settings to target a specific location. Since users often enter an address when creating their profile, you have greater control over who sees your ad because of more available consumer data for targeted ad placement

Local Advertising Sites

What other digital platforms and local advertising apps are available in your community? Explore what your neighbors watch, listen to, and read to discover new places where you can purchase an advertising spot.

For example, podcasts offer opportunities to reach new audiences with little competition. One news report showed that only 15% of advertisers use streaming audio ads. However, this low number isn’t because it isn’t effective, but because most don’t understand how to purchase spots on channels like local podcasts.

Local podcasts offer more control than other audio advertisements, which can help with targeting local audiences. Because of the low awareness about this channel, you also have less competition.

Create a Local Advertising Strategy That Converts

Knowing where you will advertise is only half of the process. The next step is to create content that resonates with your audience and leads to conversions.

Contact our content specialists to create effective local advertisements for your business.


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