AdvertiseTargetIt is very easy to target a local audience with a billboard, a print ad in a local newspaper or even a local television advertisement. How easy is it to target a local audience online? How can you be sure your ad is reaching the right local audience?

I Only Want To Advertise To My Local Community. Should I Still Advertise Online?

One of the reasons the Internet has become an incredibly-popular phenomenon over the past two decades is its global reach. The Internet has enabled users all around the globe to communicate and interact with each other through email, instant messages, websites, blogs and message boards. However, a global reach is the last thing a small to medium-sized business wants if they are trying to advertise to a local audience. For a small business with limited brick and mortar retail outlets, limited product distribution and/or a limited capacity to provide services, spending money on online advertising beyond a specific geographical area can be an expensive waste of limited resources.

What Is The Easiest Way To Target A Local Audience Online?

In order to appeal to the largest pool of potential advertisers as possible, Google AdWords provides simple tools for limiting the reach of an online advertising campaign. Google AdWords provides three ways of limiting the reach of your online campaigns: by country, by areas within a country, and by radius around a specific location. The first option will be of no use to small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., but the second and third options allow for very targeted local AdWords advertising.

Consider Google AdWords

If you are interested in targeting an area or region outside of where your business is physically located, Google AdWords provides options to target multiple local and regional areas. In fact, Google allows any business to target as many areas as they want with a specific campaign and includes a bulk-upload tool for up to 1,000 location targets. It is important to note that if you choose to advertise in an area where your business isn’t located, you can’t view your own ad! Instead, Google offers the ability to review your ad using the Ad Preview Tool.

I’m Interested In Other Options Besides AdWords…

There are other options for targeted online advertising, including advertising online with local media outlets and by utilizing the advertising and marketing services of online business directories.

Alternative Sources

Many local media companies, including local television news organizations, newspapers and “alternative weeklies” offer online advertising options that target a local audience through their online properties – many of which are slowly replacing their offline, print counterparts. One of the drawbacks of utilizing these outlets is often an advertiser is limited to the region supported by the local media outlet – this may prove wasteful for a small business if the media outlet in question serves a wide geographical area. In addition, these media companies may not have the same range of affordable options as AdWords, pricing many small businesses out.

SuperPages And DexKnows

Online business directories offer a more advanced and nuanced solution to local online advertising, similar in some ways to AdWords. You may already be familiar with directories such as SuperPages and DexKnows if you previously utilized these services to list your business and expand your online presence, but now you may want to revisit the online advertising options these companies provide through their directories and add-on services, such as local weather reports, city guides and lottery results. These companies also offer a wide range of advertising and marketing solutions in addition to targeted local advertising, including website design, SEO and even offline options such as direct mail marketing and print advertising in phone directories.