Google Local Business Ads For Local Advertising

July 29th, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

What are Google Local Business Ads?

Google Local Business Ads – or Maps Ads – are similar to search ads but they appear on the Google Maps platform.  This platform has been growing in traffic since its inception Local Business Adsand is now available on many other devices beyond the desktop/laptop including the popular iPhone.

The significance of local business ads is that they satisfy the intent of the search when it comes to local business.  Most local businesses thrive on location – in other words – if someone is looking for a new dentist and you can show the visitor that you are minutes from their home or work, they are more likely to click through or give you a call than if they discover you are an hour or more away.  Therefore, showing your ad in the context of your location on a map gives the visitor that much more incentive to contact you.

Should I be running Local Business Ads?

Perform a search on one of your top keyword phrases from the regular Google Search screen – for example, “find a dentist”.  You will notice that one of the first natural listings, if not the first, is a large group of local business listings next to a map.  There is a large link at the top that says “Local Business Results for <search term> near <your location> and another smaller link at the bottom that says “More results near <your location>”.  When the visitor clicks on either of these links, Google Maps is displayed along with the first several local business ads. 

Because of the location within the natural search results, these links are much more likely to be clicked than any of the sponsored search results.  Creating local business ads to be shown on Google maps can greatly increase your exposure. Contact a professional PPC Management Agency with any additional questions.

More in my next post on How to run Local Business Ads.

Google Maps Ads Provide Detailed Reporting

June 29th, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

Back in January Google added new links to their free local business ads (Google Maps ads).  These new links, “Get Directions,” “Street View,” “Save to My Maps,” and “Send,” all give the searcher more ways to interact Google Maps Examplewith your ad and ultimately get the information they need to visit your business.  My personal favorite is “Send” which allows the visitor to send the address not only via email but alternatively to a GPS device!  Talk about taking them by the hand and leading them to you. 

Now that there are so many more ways to interact with your local business ad, also referred to as “Google maps ads”, because they appear on the Google Maps site, wouldn’t it be nice if you had some insight into how visitors are interacting with your ad?

Now you do.  Google has given us the ability to see the analytics behind how users interact with your ad.  There is a new feature in the Google AdWords reporting feature – as a part of the Placement/Keyword Report – that allows you to view data on the following actions:

  • Info window open from left hand side
  • Info window open from map marker
  • “Get Direction” clicks
  • “Street View” clicks
  • Clicks to website from the info window

They are missing my favorite – “Send” – but hopefully that is coming soon – no word from Google yet.

How can you best use this Google Maps ads data? Use it the same as you would when analyzing your site analytics – figure out where to focus your attention based on user activity.  For example, are visitors clicking Street View? Consider putting a picture of your actual location/building on the info window. 

The numbers behind opening from the left hand side vs. opening from the map marker signify to me whether your visitors are typically responding to your brilliant ad copy or if they are more concerned with the exact location of the business.  Google Maps ad data can give you insight into a visitor’s search intent and mind set.  Then let it help you to write even better ad copy for both your maps ad and your regular pay-per-click (PPC) advertising ads.

For more information on the new Google Maps ad reporting features, check out Google’s blog post on this announcement or contact a professional Google advertising agency.

Google AdWords Traffic Estimator

June 23rd, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

The Google AdWords Traffic Estimator has been around for awhile, but no one I talk to seems to know about it.  I use the Google Traffic Estimator all the time and I want to share it with you so you can see its value too.  Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorIt is especially valuable for local businesses running Google AdWords campaigns in smaller geographic regions.

We all know about Google’s Keyword Tool which provides traffic information for your terms but a limitation on the Keyword Tool data is that it is either global or country based (the column labeled “local” now, means U.S. or whatever country was selected at the top of the page). 

This traffic data is good if you are running a national campaign – but not as useful for geographically targeted campaigns.  It can be used to determine relative traffic between keywords (i.e., what gets more traffic? Car dealer or Auto dealer?), but it falls short if you are trying to figure out what to expect when you when you are running campaigns in just Dallas or Los Angeles.

So, what I use for local traffic data is the Google Traffic Estimator.  You enter your keywords (however many you want) and a specific region – anywhere from a country, to a state, to a city or even a zip code with a radius.  If you like, you may also enter your desired daily budget and your CPC. 

The results? The traffic you can expect in one day for each keyword in the region you selected!  Now, keep in mind, there are the same limitations to this data as there are with the Google Keyword Tool – I find the traffic data to be more accurate than the estimated CPC. But it’s a good starting point.

The Google AdWords Traffic Estimator provides extremely powerful data for your Google AdWords campaign efforts. You should use this data to decide where to spend the majority of your time.  Any reputable PPC management firm would always suggest the majority of your time should be spent on keywords that can drive the most targeted traffic to your site.  Don’t waste your valuable time on terms that don’t deliver direct benefit (because they just aren’t searched on very often). That doesn’t mean don’t have them in your account, just don’t spend the majority of your time on them. Focus your attention on the top terms.  Yes, you would have seen this data yourself once your campaign was running for awhile, but this gives you the boost to focus on the right terms from the very beginning.