As a marketer, it is always important to be upgraded with the current trend of advertising and marketing.
Being upgraded with the latest marketing and advertising techniques, you can easily beat your competitors in the race of acquiring more and more customers.
But you might be wondering that after all being a small business owner of a store, how can you use the marketing techniques as per your convenience.
The local search ads of Google Maps have been proved to be a boon for small business marketers who own stores or are service providers.
If you have a physical store, maybe a cafe, restaurant, bookstore or provide services of a plumber, carpenter or electrician, you can very well use the local search ads of Google Maps to drive in foot traffic to your store.
Among all the changes that took place in Google Maps, a very noticeable change was that of the Local Search Ads which is highly known as “The Next Generation Of Local Search Ads”
In this blog post, we are going to share all the insights related to Google Maps Local Search Ads that you definitely need to know whether you are already an established store owner driving a lot of physical traffic or taking your initial steps towards advertising through Google Maps.
So to begin with, let us first emphasize on the basics.
1. Google Map Local Search Ads
Imagine a scenario, you have some really important work in the town next to yours and so you’re driving all the way from your location to the destination.
Midway down the line you perhaps the highway, you realize that you are hungry and now want a snack to eat probably a Pizza.
Remember, gone are the days when you would have manually looked for a snack.
In the 21st century, when the technology is highly upgraded everything is just one click away.
To get a snack as soon as possible, you could look for a “Highway Restaurant” or “Pizza Corner” in the search bar of Google Maps app.
A restaurant that paid to have an ad appear would come in the search results and its logo would appear with its physical location on the map.
The logo is called the promoted pins and we will go in its detail later in the post.
Basically, the Local Search Ads on Google Maps is an advertising feature that attracts customers who are in a local range of your business.
And with this, their ads are automatically shown to the user along with their driving route.
By advertising on Google Maps, you can enable your potential customers to discover and come to your physical location or store when they are searching for products and services on Google Map.
The very first step that you need to take is to enable location extensions for your Google AdWords.
The location extensions show your ads with your address and map location to your potential customers.
Your customers can get further details of your location by just clicking in the extension of your ads.
Next, you need to have a Google My Business account set up to get your business linked with Google Maps.
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for business who want to establish a strong physical appearance.
To create a Business Account, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business
Step 2: Click the three dash menu icon in the top left corner of the page
Step 3: Click on “Create Business Account”
Step 4: Enter a business account name and click on “Done”
After setting up your Google My Business, use location targeting and also bid by location.
Location targeting is a targeting option of AdWords that displays your ads according to the locations chosen by you or within a specific radius.
You can also set up different bids according to the locations. Location extension targeting helps you to select more precise locations.
In your Google Maps Local Search Ads, you need to put in relevant information regarding your address, phone number, business hours, reviews etc.
And if you are a home-based business or a service provider, you can still list your ad to appear on Google, with or without the address.
2. Changes Involved In The Google Map Local Search Ads
The main change that was brought up in the Google Maps Local Search Ads was that the ads were designed in a way so that it would help the local businesses to be more visible.
The changes were implemented in such a manner that it resulted in increasing the visibility of local businesses where the customers were actively searching for an outlet to eat or a shop to purchase.
And the basic aim of local search ads was to generate more traffic for local stores by converting the foot traffic.
Google also revealed new formats and features of Google Map Ads that were more inclined towards increasing the traffic for the physical location of a business.
The new features included Promoted Pins, Brand Logos, In-Store Promotions, Customizable Business Page, and Local Inventory Search.
The local search ads attach a maximum of two keywords from the search results on Google Maps.
And it also attaches a purple pin also known as promoted pins directly on the map.
The ad on the Google Map is directly linked to the business page of your store which is set up at Google My Business.
In order to get more consumers directed towards your store through local search ads, you need to keep the information updated on Google My Business Page.
The goal of local search ads is to optimize Google Maps so that the users get more helpful and useful experience but without going so far.
3. Location Of The Google Map Local Search Ads
Image Source: Google Maps
The local search ads easily appear on the Google Maps app and the ads appear on desktops, tablets, mobiles, and on Google.com Expanded Map results.
Local search ads have effective results whether a mobile or a desktop is used to search a local store.
In the Google Map app, you will find a single local search ad with a purple colored ad label, spotted on the top of the organic results.
And when you are searching within the search results of Google Map, you will get to see a maximum of two ads again with a purple ad label and on the top of the search results.
Also while doing location-related searches on Google.com Expanded Map results, you will find Google Maps ads on the top of the results with an icon of “Ad”.
4. Reasons For Introducing The Change
The leading reason for introducing the change was to bridge the gap between the physical store business and the mobile advertising.
Since mobile is becoming a leading device with respect to advertising and around 50% of all searches on Google are made through mobile devices.
During Google’s Performance Summit, some amazingly good statistics were revealed by Google that drew in the very much needed attention of the marketers.
Some of the statistics were:
- About 90% of all sales that happen globally takes places in store rather than online.
- The location-related searches have been increased drastically in mobile devices
- Google Maps have over 1 billion users now.
- 84% of users prefer local searches rather than global ones
- 3 out of 4 people doing location-related searches end up visiting the store and almost 28 of those searches result in a purchase.
5. Promoted Pins
Google has yet added a distinguished feature that has a direct impact on your business.
If you are Google Map user, you might have come across the ordinary red pins that indicate landmarks, restaurants, shops, businesses and other places.
Promoted Pins are similar to the Red Pins, but the difference is that it comes in purple color
For example: If you are a coffee shop owner, your ad along with promoted pins can convince people who are passing by to stop and have a refreshing cup of coffee.
Or if you have a motel on a highway, you can persuade the travelers to halt their journey for some time and take rest at your motel.
Although the promoted pins attract the attention of the people who are near to your store, they also let your shops to feature their special offers.
The promoted pins are followed by promotions and coupons especially according to a search history.
For example, You own a cafe that is pretty famous for its Hot Espresso Coffee and nearby there’s a bookstore that attracts quite a large number of book lovers.
So to attract the book lovers to come to your cafe, you can use Promoted Pins on Google Maps to offer discount and coupons.
6. Selection Of Local Search Ads By Google Maps
There could be lots of businesses near your potential customer’s location that they are looking for, but only one or two get the spot to be featured via Google Maps.
The competition to get the one out of the two spots is quite fierce.
Here, the question arises that “How Does Google Decides As To Which Ads To Display?”
Actually, Google chooses a variety of factors to determine the display of the ads.
- Query made in the local search
- The location (within a radius)
- Search History
- User behaviour
- Time of the day
By this, the shops that have a consistent good rating gets a chance to compete with the comparatively bigger brands.
7. Cost Of Local Search Ads
The cost of Google Maps Local Search Ads is similar to that of Google AdWords’ PPC campaigns.
The cost of Local Search Ads of Google Maps is further subdivided into locations, directions and click to call extensions.
Get Location Clicks
This is the cost incurred when the user clicks to expand the ads from the result lists.
Get Direction Clicks
This is the cost incurred when the user clicks to find the way to the store.
Call Button Clicks
This is the cost incurred when the user makes a call to the store.
8. Display Of Local Inventory
Think as a customer for the time being.
Just imagine that you are in desperate need of a solution to clean your contact lenses and can’t order online because you want them now.
The easiest way to find a store is through Google Maps.
Your search for a store nearby and luckily you find a store.
By not getting any late, you reach out to the store but unfortunately, you get to know that the stock had finished.
What would be your first question to the store owner?
I would rather ask, “Why didn’t you display the inventory information in the ad itself?”
Therefore, here comes the reality that unless and until visitors are sure of the availability of the product, they don’t visit the store.
Obviously, no one wants to waste their time by reaching out to stores and later finding that the product is out of stock.
That is why it is important to bring the information of the local inventory in your customizable local page.
Submit the inventory price and quantity of your products on daily basis.
And if the price and quantity of your products change throughout the day, then submit only the items that have changed their price or quantity with the new details multiple times throughout the day.
9.Benefits Of Local Search Ads
With the local search ads of Google Maps, you can create more visibility on Google Map before your competitors.
The local search ads give you a chance to target your business advertising to your immediate location and within a specific radius.
By this, you will be visible only to the people who are near to you thereby increasing your chances of getting more business.
If you really want to be specific, you can even target your ads to appear on certain times of the day.
By using the call and the direction button, you can also help your customers to perform a certain action using their smartphones.
Moreover, this can be really helpful you if you have your competitors located nearby as you can dominate by having a strong presence on Google Maps.
Whenever Google is linked with any form of marketing, the image of digital marketing pops up in our minds.
Driving traffic, increasing leads and sales, content marketing, optimizing the use of social media and what not.
But for local stores, it becomes really tough to create content and use social media to make people come up to your store.
Therefore, the local search ads of Google Maps help local stores to show their existence to the prospective customers.
Because when it comes to buying anything from a local store, the intent to purchase is already there in the mind of the customer. It is just that you have to show that you exist.
And the Local Search Ads of Google Maps is the easiest way to do that.
Remember, just be super ready to grab any opportunity offered by Google Maps Local Search Ads and increase your offline conversions with the help of online advertising.
Originally published at adstriangle.com on April 21, 2017.