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Google Maps Add New Features To Local Search Ads

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With the announcement of changes in Google AdWords, the competition for mobile advertising between Google and Facebook is going to become even tougher. The advertising role of Google is helping bridge the gap between the real and digital worlds, something local advertisers have always been looking for.

According to Google reports, there are trillions of searches on Google.com every year out of which half of the searches happen on mobile. Whereas, Google’s location-related mobile searches are increasing 50 percent faster compared to all mobile searches.

How Google Local Ads Work

Google will be experimenting with logos for physical business locations on Google Maps. This will be seen both on your desktop browser as well as for mobile app. Google calls them ‘promoted pins’ or companies that pay a good amount to appear at your map. These logos could appear in your driving route or simply as you look at a map.localbasedads

You can identify it by a small, purple box with a word ‘Ad’.

For instance, Walgreens’s logo might appear as you open up the map to find directions from your office to home. With business page at the bottom of the screen, when you tap on a logo, coupons for the items could be displayed at your screen. These coupons will be at that store or will let you browse the store inventory.

There might be more prominent ads for nearby stores when you search for something. For instance, you type ‘burger shop near me’ into your Google Maps app search bar, a business which paid for an ad could appear at the top of your search results list.

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Increasing the Character Limit of Ads

At the Google Performance Summit, the search engine giant talked about the changes in the appearance of mobile ads and its integration with Google maps. As per the changes introduced by Google, for text-based mobile ads, character limits will increase from two 35-character lines to one 80-character line whereas headlines will increase from one with a 25-character limit to two with 30-character limits. This change has been introduced on the basis of successful testing where some advertisers saw an increase in CTR of up to 20% in relation to current text ads.

Better And Responsive Ad Designs

Google is making changes to mobile ads in order to make them look better and easier for advertisers to create. These new ad formats and responsive design introduced by Google Display Network (GDN) display ads properly regardless of device or screen size. It works on simple lines. Businesses give headlines, URL, images, and message which will be automatically designed into responsive ads by Google Display Network (GDN).GND

Modifications in Ad Auction

Google has announced that they are working towards modifying its ad auction process in order to allow advertisers to bid different amounts for different platforms within a single ad campaign. For instance, an advertiser can offer different amounts to run their ads on mobile, tablets, or desktop as per the needs and target audience.

Efficient Local Search Ads

Changes in local search ads are perhaps the most important change announced by Google which will connect the real and digital worlds closer.

“90 percent of global sales happen in stores and that Google maps have the opportunity to be the bridge where mobile and local meet.” Jerry Dischler, vice president, product management, Google AdWord

It was at a recent press event that Dischler explained the new local search ads on Google Maps and Google.com are responding to the needs of nearly one-third of all mobile searches related to location.

For example, if someone searches for ‘Find a drug store near me’. This will show new, branded pins within the map and faster business pages which will provide information like hours and location. This also shows custom, in-store promotions as well as a link to store inventory levels. This will make things easier and helpful to both users and advertisers. With this change, it will be easy for someone looking for a specific PC model from a retailer like Dell.

Understanding the Beginning of Mobile Ads

The efficacy of mobile ads for local businesses was started with the introduction of ‘store visits’, a metric used to understand the store visits. In these two years, Google advertisers have measured 1 billion plus store visits worldwide. However, tracking customer’s journey i.e from online discovery and research to an in-store purchase is not perfect. The data collected from 10 major retailers like Bath and Beyond, Target and Bed, etc showed that location-based mobile ads are performing well and driving ‘more incremental in-store visits than online conversions’.

Example of Nissan UK

Dischler talked about the experience of Nissan UK, an auto manufacturer, who saw a 6 % conversion rate via mobile ads leading to showroom visits. This is important to note as digital conversion rates are usually low single digits. Also, Nissan claimed to grow its Return on Investment (ROI) from 1 to 25 for the mobile ad campaign which is huge!

Benefits To Advertisers From Google’s ads

In 2015, Google’s advertising tools and search generated nearly $165 billion for US companies. This could be understood from the increasing dependability of consumers on mobile. Google faces tough competition from Facebook. FB’s revenue from mobile advertising in the last quarter was reported to be 79% of its $5.4 billion. Whereas Google delivered 99 percent of Alphabet’s $21 billion in quarterly revenue.

“Nearly one-third of all mobile searches on Google are related to location”- Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior-vice president, ads, and commerce, Google

Conclusion

Google is a company that makes money by selling ads which make it natural for this giant search engine to offer advertisers a top-class spot in Google Maps. Though these changes in Google Maps will also help people like us who wants to go on a road trip and feel hungry in the middle. You can search for something like ‘place to eat burger/pizza’ and it might show up McDonald’s or Pizza Hut.

That said, these changes in the local search ads will affect small businesses. However, only time will tell in which ways it will. What do you think about changes in Google Maps for small businesses?

Photo Credits: Venture Beat

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