Google Local Search Ads: Everything You Need to Know

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Google’s unveiled the next big thing in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and local search advertisements. In the past, a lot of marketers and business owners struggled to see conversions with responsive text ads. That’s why Google’s found a better way for marketers to advertise local businesses.

Behold, Google’s new local search ads!

What are Google local search ads?

Local search ads are a way for businesses to be featured and stand out within the local results section of a Google search. When a user is looking for a specific service near their location, they may see advertisements that show your location, phone number, hours, and reviews.

An example of a local search ad listing

With other types of advertising on Google, you typically have to worry about your:

  • Quality score
  • Click-through-rate
  • Landing page
  • And more

But with local search ads, you only need to worry about your:

  • Business location
  • Quality and quantity of reviews
  • Responsiveness to customer inquiries
  • Business hours
  • Complaints

Unlike other forms of advertising on Google, local search ads revolve around your weekly budget.

How do Google local search ads work?

Local search ads appear to users searching for a business to help with their problems.

An example of local search ads in Google search results

If a user is searching for plumbing work, for example, those users will see ads for local plumbing services in their area. Local search ads are labeled with a small green, “Google Guaranteed,” checkmark to inform users that these are businesses they can trust.

Also, local search ads are located right above text ads, so they’re the first thing users see when looking for a local business or service. That means your ads can steal valuable traffic from other companies that rank on the first page of search results.

Users may also see results within the map results section.

An example of ads on Google Maps

Users can get to this section by clicking on the “More Places” button right under the first three local results, known as the “Local 3-Pack.” Typical results appear with a red icon, but in the map section, Google replaces it with a green ad icon.

Local search ads also show right on Google Maps. Regular Google Maps results appear with a red icon, but with local search ads, Google replaces these red icons with a purple ad icon known as a promoted pin.

An example of a local search ad on Google Maps

Google pushes these ads to the top of local results, which can increase traffic to your website and your physical store. With Google Maps, it’s important to know that it will only show a maximum of two ads in search results, resulting in a lot more competition for ad space.

Who can use Google Local Search Ads?

Before you can use local search ads, it’s important to see if you are eligible. Since these ads are new, Google limits their use to specific locations and industries. For example, local search ads are only available to larger metropolitan areas.

Some of these areas include:

  • Pittsburgh
  • Las Vegas
  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Portland
  • Sacramento
  • Boston

A few examples of companies that can — and should — take advantage of this form of online advertising include electricians, locksmiths, plumbers, lawncare companies, garage door businesses, and HVAC providers.

How to Create a Local Search Ad

To show how a specific industry can perform local search ads, we will use local plumbers as an example. The first thing you would want to do is set up Google My Business and fill out all the information needed for your plumbing business.

An example of a Google My Business listing

After this step, Google will then mail you a postcard with a verification code to confirm your company’s physical location. You can take this time to optimize your Google My Business listing with great descriptions, images, and more.

For reference, Google My Business offers a ton of benefits.

Once Google confirms and verifies your physical address, you then need to link it to a Google Ads account. You can connect this to a pre-existing account or a brand new one. Head on over to the “Ads & Extensions” tab. Click the blue “+” button and select, “Location Extensions.”

Once you’re here, you can now link your Google My Business profile with your Google Ads account.

Now that you’ve connected your accounts, you can now set up extensions to your ads. Then you can add your phone number for your plumbing business, set up call tracking, and voila! You’re advertising with local search ads!

7 advantages of Google local search ads

With local search ads, your company gains several benefits, including these seven:

1.       Receive more calls from potential customers

Thanks to Google My Business and call extensions within Google Ads, your phone number appears within your local search ads. This feature allows users to call your business and inquire about your services easily.

2.       Build more trust with consumers

Local search ads feature a green, “Google Guaranteed,” checkmark that helps users and Google view you as a legitimate business. That checkmark serves as a trust signal, which is why users will trust your brand more than local competitors in the area, resulting in more business and foot traffic for you.

Also, since Google guarantees your business, you may notice an increase in your online visibility, which gives your business more exposure to consumers. Why? Google tends to increase organic search rankings for companies that are relevant and trusted by local users.

3.       Generate more store traffic

Since local search ads focus on advertising to users near your company’s location, you have a high chance of increasing your in-store traffic. In fact, 50 percent of users visit a store within a day of conducting a local search — plus, 80 percent of local searches convert.

In most cases, if you have people visiting your store, they’re there to make a purchase. Whether they’re buying a meal, requesting a quote, or signing up for a routine service, they’re making a transaction that increases your revenue.

4.       Provide consumers with more information

Although local search ads feature your phone number, address, and business name, they also link back to your website. For users who want to gather more information about your business and services, they can easily visit your website. Here they can view photos, read reviews, explore your blog, and more.

5.       Streamline ad management

With traditional search advertisements, you need to stay on top of how your ads and keywords are performing. With local search ads, you can set a weekly budget, and that’s it! Thankfully, Google pushes these ads out automatically when a nearby user searches for something related to your business.

6.       Get ahead of voice search

The rise of voice-assisted technology has been very prominent over the recent years. Many households own at least one voice-enabled device, such as Google Home or Google Assist. That’s why more than 20 percent of searches are voice searches.

Since local search ads display at the top of search results, the first thing a voice-assisted device will give you is a local result for your query. So, by investing in local search ads, you can be the first business mentioned when a user searches for your services.

7.       Showcase positive reviews and ratings

When trying to earn the trust of new consumers, it can be a bit challenging. Thanks to local search ads, you can showcase your ratings. These ratings increase brand trust and allow users to read through past reviews to understand what it’s like to work with your business.

That can have an immense impact on your bottom line, as 80 percent of consumers say that online reviews have changed their mind about a purchase. Your ratings can encourage locals to visit your restaurant, call your team for service, or take another action that supports your business.

Learn more about advertising on Google!

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