Q and A: How do I target specific suburbs using SEO and PPC?

QuestionHi Kalena

My husband runs his own business. He is an electrician working in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia, doing mostly domestic electrical work.

We employ a pay per click agency as well as a web page optimiser until such time as I am confident to do it my self. We monitor each very carefully to try and find out what works for us.

I am running key word research and incorporating suitable keywords into my husband’s site. And now that I am actually going through the motions of putting this into practice, I am having trouble justifying these words, as I know his clients don’t use these words to find our service.

Both the optimiser and the PPC agency have come up with the same keywords I have, and when I typed these words into Google to see whom or what popped up, the results were mostly irrelevant to our products. Although I could see these words used in our sub pages e.g. “Install ceiling fan”, “down lights”, “switch board upgrade” etc, I don’t feel these keyword phrases are strong enough for our home page. We are not competing for these keywords, we are competing for the local area and the electrician service within our local area.

Our business is usually found by people typing in the word “electrician”, then the suburb or CBD, inner city etc. These are the words I would like to target. So my question is, how do you target specific suburbs in your city?



Hi Kim

Regarding the search terms such as “install ceiling fan”, “down lights”, “switch board upgrade”, these are excellent choices to target with SEO because they are likely to be less competitive and provided you optimize your pages carefully enough, you should be able to rank well for them, provided they are relevant to the service your husband offers. If they aren’t, there’s no point targeting them.

Regarding targeting terms such as “electrician [suburb]” – it’s going to be difficult to rank highly for such generic terms using SEO alone, so you might need PPC to win that war. Thankfully, Google AdWords enables you to set up location based advertising.

You can choose a particular geographic area, a range of suburbs, a particular city etc. You can even have your ads shown only to persons located in a specific number of city blocks – via customized (latitude and longitude) targeting! You can specify this when you create a new AdWords account. With location-based targeting, the suburb name appears below your ad to make it more relevant.

Another great way to target a specific market is to use dynamic keyword insertion, where a particular keyword is inserted into your ads automatically based on a search query or searcher location.

So you could have your AdGroup target individual suburbs such as “electrician North Sydney”, or the city as a whole such as “electrician Sydney” etc. Your ad could say something like:

Electrician {Keyword: Suburb}
Emergency electrician available
24 hours / 7 days a week.

Then if a searcher enters “electrician North Ryde” or “electrician Strathfield”, your ad will come up and show the relevant suburb in the headline. Powerful stuff!

I recommend you read up on dynamic keyword insertion and give it a whirl in your AdWords account.



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About Kalena Jordan

In my day job, I’m Director of Studies and tutor at the online training institution Search Engine College. In my spare time, I’m a search engine agony aunt and SEO to global clients. I’ve been marketing websites online since 1996 and blogging about search since 2002. To learn more, visit