If you use local search ads on Google maps to attract customers in your area, there have been some improvements to this service that you should know about. Appearing on both desktops and mobile devices, the adverts you place on Google maps are a very powerful way to increase your exposure, making it easy for people to find you, contact you and make their way to your premises.
The “new generation” Google maps ads are set to improve by introducing new ad formats and features, that will hopefully direct more traffic to your physical location. These include Promoted Pins, customizable business pages and in-store promotions. The aim is to make the ads more visible to the user, but without becoming intrusive. New local search ads will appear in the Google Maps app, on Google Maps mobile, desktop and tablet sites, as well as on google.com expanded map results.
In the recent Google Performance Summit, some mobile statistics were revealed that should make you sit up and realise why people need to be able to find your business easily, both online and physically:
- Around 90% of all global sales happen in stores, not online.
- Three out of four people that use their mobile devices to search locally, end up visiting the store within a day, with 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
- Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location.
- 84% of consumers conduct local searches.
- Over a billion people use Google Maps.
Promoted Pins, or branded pins, will help your business stand out on a map. Your logo will appear on the map search result, instead of the usual red dot. Below your business details and address, you can feature an in-store promotion, which could be the pull the user needs to select your business.
So how does Google know which store listings to show, when there could be many in the area? Using a variety of signals, including search history, interests, time of day, demographics and query context, Google will show results that are relevant to the user, similar to what they’re doing on the Google Display Network.
Local pages are set for an upgrade – when someone taps on a local search ad, they will be taken to a page that will include store hours, phone numbers, website address, directions and even a photo of the storefront.
These changes are set to roll-out in the next few months, so in the meantime, you can make sure that you enable local extensions – only ads with location extensions enabled will be eligible to show. Check that all your information in Google My Business is up to date and accurate.