October 8

What You Need to Know about Google Local Search Ads

Online marketing


The Google Local Pack has become the most active battleground for local businesses, but not everyone can be a winner. Some companies are willing to wait and work on their SEO to get there. Others are willing to spend money for a quick result. For these companies, the solution is to create Google local search ads.

What Are Local Search Ads?

For now, these new types of ads are under testing in various areas in the US. They come in three different types, adapted both for desktop and for mobile phones. Here they are:

  • Google 3-Pack carousel ads (newly tested)
  • Google Maps left column ads
  • Google Maps promoted pins

Now let us tell you a bit about each of these new types of Google ads.

Google Local Pack carousel ads – this is still in the testing phase and visible only to select users. To give you an idea, these look like the carousel Facebook ads. They will appear next to the maps for local searches. In the initial test, only one and one half ads will be visible on the mobile screen. The user can swipe from right to left for more results.

Each of the carousel ads is enclosed in a prominent rectangle and includes:

  • Business name
  • Rating
  • Number or reviews
  • Opening hours
  • Type of business
  • Address
  • Call button

Google Maps left column ads – when users are searching for a business, product or service in their local area on Google Maps, the first three results will be paid results. This type of ads works just like the first paid results on regular Google searches.

Google Maps promoted pins – when you check Google Maps to find a specific location or get directions, you see various red pins. These pins represent local businesses that have a profile on Google My Business. As a recent addition, some of the pins are purple coloured. These are promoted pins – paid pins to stand out on Google Maps.

What Is the Advantage of Using Google Local Search Ads?

We live in a world connected by internet, true. But many people use a mix of online and offline resources in the purchasing process. More precisely, they research for products and services online, but go to a brick and mortar store to make the purchase.

For this reason, small businesses can reap huge benefits from Google local search ads. They can reach out to the right prospects – those who are most likely to walk or drive to their store. Instead of spending a lot of money on ads optimised only for keywords and customer behaviour, they can make an efficient investment in ads targeted at people in a specific geographical area.

Here are a few other reasons to look forward to Google local search ads becoming available globally:

1. Enjoy the Green “Google Guaranteed” Badge

All promoted local search results will be accompanied by a green badge. This badge tells consumers that Google vouches for your company, in terms of: location, relevance and good standing based on ratings and reviews.

2. Encourage Prospects to Give You a Call

The Google Local Pack ads will feature a Call button. This means, that a prospect can simply tap on the button and ask you a question – if they can book your services at a certain date and time, if you have a specific product on stock, etc.

As you may have already noticed, many of these basic inquiry calls are followed by a visit to your store.

3. Less Hassle, More Relevant Traffic

Google local search ads work in a simpler way compared to PPC campaigns. You set a weekly budget and the relevant keywords. Google will then automatically show your ads for relevant local searches up to the limit of the budget.

How Are You Billed?

Google local search ads are billed as pay per click (PPC) for the following actions on your ads:

  • Click-to-call
  • Get directions
  • Get location details.

We will return to this topic as soon as Google local search ads roll out to all the geographical regions.

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