To paraphrase Tip O’Neill, all search is local and mobile.
Well nearly all of it, according to search and advertising giant Google. That’s why Google is moving to cash in with seriously updated Adwords and, even more importantly, new advertising on Google Maps.
This is potentially a very big deal for businesses and, even, organizations which depend on traffic (real, not only digital) and marketeers who want to make sure everyone looking for them and can find them.
“Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location,” says Google. “People’s online and offline worlds are colliding — whether you’re researching restaurant ideas for dinner on Friday night or looking for a store that sells rain boots in your size.
“To help advertisers reach consumers searching for physical business locations, we’re introducing new local search ads across Google.com and Google Maps. Advertisers using location extensions will be able to prominently showcase their business locations when consumers search for things like ‘shoe store’ or ‘car repair near me.’
“We’re also investing in more branded, customized experiences for businesses on Google Maps — geared towards helping you increase store visits. For example, Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route. Local business pages are also getting a brand new look — to encourage consumers to explore your store before they even arrive, we’re adding new features like special offers and the ability to browse product inventory.”
Google knows what’s up online and it’s not about to let escape a potential cash cow when 76 percent of mobile users who search for a destination nearby visit that store within a day.
The advertising and search giant let loose its updated mobile-first approach to its advertising products in late May at its annual Google Performance Summit.
In addition to the new ad purchases available for Google Maps and search queries it also announced it is making big changes to Google Adwords.
“To help marketers succeed in this mobile-first world, we have redesigned AdWords — from the ground-up — and re-thought everything from creatives and bidding, to workflow and measurement,” explained Google. “We’re also making it easier for marketers to bridge the digital and physical worlds. With location-related mobile searches growing 50% faster than all mobile searches, it’s clear that consumers are moving seamlessly between online and offline experiences. So it’s important to help marketers think this way too.”
The changes for the mobile-first approach to Adwords will take three basic forms:
- From a single 25-character headline to two 30-character headlines.
- From two 35-character description lines to one consolidated 80-character description line.
- The ads will make sure the correct URL is displayed in the ad by automatically extracting the ad’s landing page domain. Ad buyers can still customize a path to the landing page but the change will, Google hopes, eliminate mistakes (we’ve all made).
Google says early testing suggests click-through rates have increased 20 percent with the new design.
Google Maps advertising
“Google Maps shows search ads in two places: within the search results list beneath the search box, and on the map,” says Google. “Ad locations appear on the map with a purple icon and business name.
“If someone clicks the purple icon or your ad in the search box, your ad will expand to show details about your business. Your ad may also have a Directions button, so someone can easily get directions to your business.
“When someone performs a search in Google Maps for mobile app, search ads are eligible to appear as one of the listed results below the search box and map. A purple icon showing the location of your business will also appear on the map.
“The ad may also feature a Call button and a Directions button. People can tap the ad to view more information about your business, like store hours and customer reviews.”
To get ahead – or simply to stay even – marketeers must think mobile, must think local, must think search and, like it or not, Google Maps will be an important tool for years to come.