Local search has made incredible progress over the past few years as Google has pushed update after update focused on it. Earlier this March, Google continued this trend by changing the way their Display Network ads appear with accordance to local search.
The new format of these ads now automatically incorporate things like store location, business hours, and pictures to display to the viewer, making these ads more useful.
Local storefronts appreciate these features as they are designed to drive foot traffic and in store purchases.
This new Display Location Extension looks and feels like the standard location extension we’ve become used to on the search engine results page, with the addition of business hours appearing below the location and other ad information.
This data is automatically drawn from the Google My Business page, without any work required on the user’s end. While business owners have the option to opt-out of these new updates, Google claims that early testing shows an increase in clicks to businesses, “with 60% of clicks on this extension related to directions or store information.” That’s an extensive increase in ad conversions exclusively related to local search.
Making Local Extension Ads
This new format of ads have been added to the right-hand side of the AdWords ad gallery, where you can select them while creating a new ad. You can include a logo, and ad headline, ad description, and you can upload up to 3 pictures that the ad will display. One option to keep in mind that may not be obvious up front is whether or not you want the ad to show up to people who are only physically nearby the store, rather than all of those interested in your locale. If this is what you’re looking for, look in the advanced location options and check “Extend my ads with location information.”
Automatically Updating Ads & Opting Out
As Google stated, most ads can and already have been dynamically converted to the new format automatically. Your old ads have had information added from your My Business account, so you may want to go back and make sure that everything there was accurate and that your ads got the correct information.
However, if you’d like to opt out of this automatic update, you can disable using location extensions.
To opt out of display location extensions:
1.) open up AdWords
2.) click the Extensions tab
3.) click Location extensions
4.) select campaigns or ad groups
5.) select the ads you’d like to change
6.) click “Use campaign location extension” and choose “Disable location extensions”
Staying true to their statement of prioritizing mobile, Google seems to be taking stock of what shoppers and businesses want. Simple things like making relevant information, location and hours of operation, more available is practical and useful for everyone. As well, the option to drive foot traffic through these new ads opens up the opportunity to use separate ad campaigns and evolve marketing strategies.
Ultimately this does seem like a big plus for driving local traffic. The display network is generally pretty underutilized by businesses that want to drive local traffic so this may mean increasing budgets and putting your hat in the game more on display as well as search.
Whether you are in Los Angeles, New York or anywhere in-between, these ad formats should mean a better user experience though we always want to keep a strict eye on display traffic and placements to ensure that there is not any waste in spend.
If you need assistance with your local SEO or PPC strategy feel free to reach out for an analysis to uncover what opportunities 180fusion can uncover.
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