What accounts for nearly a third of all mobile searches, has grown 50% faster than overall mobile searches in the past year, and is an element you can't afford to ignore? Location-related searches. Recently, Google announced that it is about to roll out a new way of displaying ads for mobile devices. This integration of ads into location-related searches gives advertisers a greater reach and more exposure. The question with this Google update roll-out is the same as with any update: "How does this affect my company?"
Well, first, you have to understand what this update entails. We all know by now that Google favors mobile over desktop websites, and this means that the SERP call for mobile-optimized paid ads as things continue to evolve. It's not enough to have ads appear how they would for desktop. A whole new experience needs to be had to appeal to mobile users. This is where the Adwords change comes in. According to Erin Sagin at WordStream, "The philosophy behind the change is that AdWords should be more focused on the business it’s promoting, so account managers can optimize campaigns based on specific business goals and targets." Of course, there are mixed feelings surrounding the change because, well, people tend to dislike change. However, this update brings a lot of positive things to the table:
There are now going to be campaign creation wizards that determine campaigns and settings that provide the best lead generation for your company
The navigation on Google Maps is cleaner and offers Adwords-generated opportunities for users on the way to their destination
Users can consume data with more ease given the newly designed dashboard
With these changes, you have to ensure that your website is primed for visitors. If it isn't, you risk a user experience that turns away potential leads rather than invites them in and captivates them. Here's how the new changes affect your advertising efforts and how you can evolve to work with them:
When a user selects a location or a type of company (web design, office supply, etc.) that they want to find, the new ads will appear as brand logos and offers on the map itself. What does this mean for you? Your branding needs to be on-point.
For local businesses, there will now be promotion pins. For any local business that pops up in the area searched, there will be an offer for that company that shows up beneath the map and the local store information. What does this mean for you as a local business? Offer something. If you don't have an offer available, you aren't as visible as those that do.
Google is also updating local business pages with the ability to highlight in-store promotions and enables users to search the inventory of that store. In real time, users can check to see if you have what they are looking for without walking into your store. This may have you thinking, "But this means I might have fewer leads!" False; it's not a numbers game. You will have more qualified leads because they know that you have what they want. The biggest takeaway from this: Make sure your product catalog is up-to-date.
An important thing to note: Although the ads are based on a query, Google is also looking at other things to signal what ads should pop-up. These include personal browsing history, similar users, time of day, interests, and behaviors. Don't assume that because you have a keyword match that you will automatically show up. It's not that simple. But again, this is also good for drawing qualified leads.
So what happens when someone finds you in search and walks into your store? How do you know that they found you online?
Google Adwords has created a new feature that bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds by measuring in-store conversions. They can track a user's location to determine if the person who searched walked into your store. Note: This does not work if they don't have Location Services turned on. With that, remember that it is not 100% accurate, but it's pretty close.
Your website is a prime lead generation tool. When you do what it takes to align with the design of things such as Adwords, you are investing in long term results. This is not a numbers game. Programs such as Adwords provide you with the ability to attract qualified leads that turn into customers. It doesn't matter how many people you draw to your company. What matters is that you draw the right people.