Two New Google AdWords Updates: How They Affect Local Advertisers
You’re craving pizza and wondering where the closest take-out is so you jump on the computer. You type “pizza near me” and notice that there are only 3 local listings when there used to be more. To make it even more bizarre, you see that the first listing is actually an ad for Papa John’s. MIND BLOWN.
Maybe you were one of the lucky few that first noticed the shrinkage of listings and ads popping up on Google’s Local Finder Page or maybe it’s news to you now. Either way, here are some things you need to know about Google’s big changes.
Look out for Local Marketing: Benefits of the Google AdWords Update
Every business wants to rank in the top 3 of the local pack, but that’s easier said than done. With the help of this Google AdWords update though, businesses have more of a chance. The addition gives retailers and other businesses an opportunity to be featured (if not in the top 3, in the additional listings when users click to view more places).
One big benefit of the Google AdWords update is exposure, since businesses have the opportunity to utilize location marketing to boost their presence. However, since Google removed ads from the right side of the search engine results page, it can get a little competitive now that there is less space to make a good impression. It’s more than merely a design change Google decided to make, that’s for sure. Businesses will now have to compete for a spot in these listings, whether it’s organic or paid.
More Changes from Google You Need to Know About
Google sent out an announcement not too long ago to advertisers warning them of the coming changes to search ads on Google Maps. The major news was that Google Maps is no longer part of Search Partners and that it’s now considered a core Google search site. In a nutshell, only ads that have location extensions will be shown by Google in Maps.
“With this update, location extensions are now required for ads on Google Maps; standard text ads leading to websites will no longer be shown. We’re making these changes to create a more seamless, relevant ad experience on Google Maps. This will begin with the Google Maps Android app and roll out to the desktop site and iOS app later in the year.” – Google AdWords Team
If you’re an advertiser who has opted out of Search Partners but still uses location extensions, look out for a big increase in impressions since they’ll be shown in Maps. On the other hand, if you’ve opted in and fail to use location extensions, you can expect to see a substantial drop in impressions since your ads won’t be shown.
Next Steps Your Business Needs to Take
With less space for search results, this is your chance to really make your business shine and stand out from competitors. Since Google is requiring that businesses have location extensions for Google Maps ads, you should set them up if you haven’t already. This means optimizing ads with extensions that will add value and visibility to your business like sitelinks, reviews, locations, callouts and apps. Local ads can really help a business turn things around and regain impressions, especially if they once had ads on the right side of search results that Google removed.
Just remember though, ads aren’t the only thing you should be worrying about to gain more exposure. While ads can be a great strategy, let’s not completely eliminate the importance of ranking organically. If you’re a business with a physical location, you should have your business claimed on Google My Business and frequently optimize it by adding features, updates, company info, ratings and reviews. An optimized business page is what’s going to set you apart from competition, plus you’ll need one to activate ads.
Interested in local search marketing and AdWords campaigns? Contact our web marketing team today for a quote!