by Vatsal Prasad on October 23, 2020 | Google Ads SEO

Ninety-seven per cent. 

97% of consumers go online to find local products and services.

If you’re running a restaurant, cafe, store or any business that is inclined towards foot traffic, you need to be advertising on Google Ads to get the most out of the market. 

And we don’t just mean text ads and display ads, there is another option that has immense potential and provides the opportunity to stand out from the crowd:

Local Search Ads on Google Maps.

As an SEO and Google Ads digital marketing agency, we come across so many businesses every day, including B2B organisations, that miss out on the low-hanging fruit of local search ads. 

 

What are Local Search Ads?

People are constantly searching for businesses nearby. When someone searches for a product or service using the terms ‘near me’, you know that this is a potential customer for sure, as they are actively looking for a store that will provide what they need.

To put this into perspective, 50% of ‘near me’ Google searches made via mobile result in a store visit

This is where local search ads come in. 

Advertisers can bid on a location-specific search term and have their business locations featured on Google Maps, which allows the customers to call or visit their store.

 

How does it work? 

What do the Local Search ads look like on different devices?

Desktop

When it comes to desktop devices, if a consumer performs a search query using a specific location or even ‘near me’, Google maps will show your ad in two places:

The first spot is in the left panel, which contains detailed information about your organisation. 

Additionally, on the right side, Google maps also provides a visual cue to make your location stand out. Among all the locations competing for that keyword (in this screenshot: ‘property rent management Balmain’, you can see that the organisation running the ad clearly stands out with the purple-coloured pin rather than the usual red. 

These are called promoted pins.

 

Mobile

A mobile device displays the ad in a similar fashion as the desktop:

An important point to note in this case is that unlike the desktop display, a mobile device has different viewing options as you can see above. A user can only see one of these three screens at a given time.

The way each view will grab the user’s attention will vary. 

By default, Google shows the ‘hybrid view’ when the search is performed i.e. the view with both the text ad and promoted pin visible. The user can then switch between the other two views.

 

Advantages of local ads

Now that we’ve seen what local search ads are and what they look like, one question remains:

What are the benefits of running these ads?

 

Clear competitive advantage

If a user is searching for something on Google Maps, a sea of options come up.

With the help of Promoted Pins (purple marker among red markers), you have a clear competitive advantage when it comes to gaining the user’s attention.  

Depending on your industry, you’ll find that there aren’t many advertisers who are using this option. That automatically filters out a lot of your competition. 

 

More effective CTA

While text and display ads’ call-to-action involves a user clicking through and entering the funnel to then go through multiple stages for a conversion, an ad on Google Maps has a more direct and effective CTA: ‘Call’ or ‘Get Directions’.

This kind of CTA invokes an action from the user as the user knows that this will provide them direct access to your business, rather than them filling out a form and waiting for a response. 

Speed and convenience: just what a customer wants.

 

Direct access to the ready-to-buy audience

Three out of every four people who search for something nearby using their smartphone end up visiting a store within a day, and 28 per cent of those searches result in a purchase. (Source)

Advertising online involves a lot of strategy when it comes to getting your targeting right. 

With the option of local search ads, you’re essentially enabling more inbound enquiries. 

This is your ready-to-buy ‘in-market’ audience. Why miss out?

 

Bonus tip: if you want to make sure you get that extra chunk of market share, you need to make sure you’re optimizing for SEO as well. Optimize your Google My Business profile and you’ll be able to get not one but two spots on Google Maps when a local search is performed. 

In the screenshots above, you can see that the organisation ‘Let’s Rent’ has the first result as an ad, and the second as an organic result. 

What better way to get your customers onboard?

 

Conclusion

Advertising on Google Maps is one of the best ways to have a competitive advantage against local businesses. There can be some technical aspects to it but it’s definitely worth investing in as a part of your broader digital marketing strategy 

We know sometimes things can seem complicated when it comes to Google Ads. If you’d like to save on time and resources, why not engage with a Google Ads agency? Get in touch with us at Rocket Agency for all your digital marketing needs.

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