Andrew Shipp
Aug 07, 2020 | 13 min read

Each of us has probably Googled at least once the address of a place to check where it’s located on the map and find out how to get there or take a virtual tour of the area. Besides street names, Google Maps also displays information about nearby businesses and venues: from beauty salons to schools, gyms, tennis courts, computer services, and even freelance services. 

As a business, using this tool is a must if you want to let potential customers in your vicinity know about your presence in a given place. After all, you don’t have to spend a single dime to add your company to Google Maps, and in the modern age, people may be standing right in front of your office or store and not know that it’s there because they’re glued to their phones. But with Google Maps, you can get the foot traffic you need.

In this blog post, we’ll look at everything you need to know in order to advertise your business on Google Maps.

What are Google Maps ads

Running ads on Google Maps is a great opportunity for your company to become better known locally. In essence, it allows you to display your store, cafe, or office on Google Maps along with the address, contact information with a photo, reviews about your business and a description. Such ads present new opportunities that you simply can’t afford to ignore.

Example of an ad on Google Maps

The bottom line is that putting your business on the map will literally make your brand more recognizable. Using this promotional strategy will help you acquire more local customers and concentrate your efforts on generating new sales.

How do ads on Google Maps work

Everything is very simple. If you have a business located in a certain location in the city, you just need to set up Google Maps advertising. Doing so is indispensable in the age of the Internet because it allows you to provide your customers with additional info about your business and makes it easier for them to find you locally.

Anyone looking to purchase a specific product or service will most definitely want to find it online first. The first thing they’ll do is enter a keyword. If a certain search result resonates with them, then they will look for a company that can offer a good solution somewhere nearby. Naturally, your business as well as that of your competitors can be displayed on the map, and as a result, people will see it among the search results on Google Maps.

The benefit of running ads on Google Maps is that besides displaying data about your location and how people can get there, you can also let them know how to reach you by phone and provide other basic contact details. Doing so will help you communicate with potential customers better and provide them with all the necessary information as soon as they Google something relevant to your business.

Promoted Pins

Setting your business apart from the competition is easier with promoted Pins. Did you know that 60% of mobile searches involve location searches? Almost everyone now has a smartphone that isn’t just used for making calls, but is also used as a navigation system and an easy way of searching for information, goods and services. For this reason, promoted Pins allow you to highlight the icon of your business on the map with a special magenta color and a logo that you yourself can choose.

Example of purple pin on Google Maps

This ad format will allow you to stand out and have a greater impact on your audience. When searchers click on the icon with your company logo, they will be able to see more info about it. This format is unobtrusive and will allow people to find exactly the segment of goods or services they are looking for in their city.

In-store promotions

Promotions and discounts are extremely important for many customers. The fact is that every person wants to find the most favorable price, and get their hands on the product or service they set their sights on as soon as possible. It is a key aspect of the economy as consumers are always looking for the best deal.

In-store promotion on Google Maps

That is why in-store promotions are an additional powerful tool for promoting your sales. This is a great way of convincing people to choose a particular offer, since they have a direct opportunity to see all the benefits personally.

For example, you can add standard Pins along with info on coupons and bargains for your customers. This can help you get more customers in your niche and maybe even get rid of the competition in case of really profitable offers.

The pros of ads on Google Maps

This promotion method is very effective in the modern world. First of all, this is true for people who are in constant motion. By placing ads on maps, you help them navigate the city and find certain goods and services that they need. After all, they may not accidentally be there and won’t be forced to spend a lot of time looking for your location. 

This ad format is simple and convenient in terms of customization and implementation. Moreover, you get a good tool for increasing the sales of your goods and services, since you no longer need to spend your budget on alternative local promotion methods.

You will also be able to increase your business’s visibility because it will be constantly displayed on the map. Even if searchers initially did not want to get your product and service, their minds might change in the future.

A special mark on the map can prompt a person to take action. Here are some reasons why:

  • If someone is looking for local marks on the map, they are very likely to visit your store or office within the next 24 hours;
  • Tagged pins create trust.

A short snippet of a company’s data can give people all the info they want to find on the web.

How to advertise on Google Maps

This involves the use of Google Ads. If you’ve used it before, then you will not have any difficulties. However, beginners will not find it critically difficult either. 

Adding a business to GMB

But first, you need to add your business and verify it via GMB. This procedure is necessary to confirm the legality of your business activity. As soon as Google confirms your right to use this ad format, you can go to Ads.

Setting up ads

Find the “Extensions” section in Google Ads. The process itself is very simple so you don’t need to make any real effort. Here’s Google’s official documentation on extensions. Here you can customize all your ads.

GA extensions

You will definitely like how the interface and the setting format works for the average user. Next, you need to find Extension and connect your profile. The good part is that all actions are intuitive and you will need no more than several minutes to complete the entire procedure.

You need to link your profile with your account, adjust the ad display permission, and proceed to the next step. You need to provide all the necessary information like the local phone number, important data, and the operating mode. That way, your clients can reach you and get the information they need.

The location extension

Now it’s time to set up the addresses. Google has conveniently provided all the necessary info in their official documentation. Once everything’s set up, go through the Location extensions and select the spots you want.

Where to find GA location extensions

Location targeting

Start by reading what the search giant has to say on targeting ads to geographical locations. Choose the words that your customers use most often when they need to find something important. This is extremely relevant for any type of local business. Usually, 5-20 keywords are enough if you have an ad group that you want to show to potential customers. 

Top 5 examples of ads on Google Maps

Of course, every argument needs to be backed up by specific examples. For this reason, I prepared for you the top 5 examples of what such ads should look like. This will allow you to get a rough understanding of how you can customize advertisements for your business in order to get benefits and potential customers.

VEM Exotic Rentals

For this example, I used the keyword Exotic Rentals LA to find a car. The pin of this company is displayed on the map. As you can see, all the data about the car rental service is structured. Users can read the comments, get the telephone number and the address.

Example of VEM Exotic Rentals on Google Maps

Sultana’s Bakery & Café

A search for cafeterias in Boston led us to Sultana’s Bakery & Café. Besides providing standard info, you can see delivery information, browse through the menu, and even find out that it’s an LGBTQ-friendly cafe. Such information can be especially relevant for people looking for a themed café or a cozy place to relax.

Example of Sultan's Bakery on Google Maps

Gulf

This example is in the context of a gas station advertisement. It is very important to provide customers with pricing information right away. That way, drivers will be able to choose a suitable option for themselves. In this case, you immediately see fuel prices, a phone number, and the exact address.

Example of Gulf ad on Google Maps

Antonio Hotel

This is another example of how you can advertise a hotel. In addition to basic information, I recommend specifying Highlights. This will allow your potential customers to know every key benefit of your hotel.

Example of Antonio Hotel ad on Google Maps

Dunkin’

Besides getting directions, potential Dunkin’ customers can check for promotional offers, phone numbers, find out when they open and close, and see the overall rating. This is a good opportunity for people to find out about a special deal and rush to the nearest Dunkin’.

Example of Dunkin' ad on Google Maps

The performance of your ads

In Google Ads, you can find all the results regarding the effectiveness of your Google Maps ads. Statistics are compiled regularly so that you can analyze the latest data. You can also adjust your campaign if something’s not going right, and the promotion efficiency does not meet your expectations. 

If this information is not enough for you, then you can use SE Ranking. This is one of the most convenient options for accurately checking the ranking positions of your site. 

SE Ranking's paid keyword rankings data

Besides being able to track information in real-time, you can also target the results of different search engines, regions, and devices. 

SE Ranking's detailed paid keyword rankings data

This is very important if you have several businesses in different parts of your country or the world. Here you will also be able to analyze your competitors and the strength of your strategy. Remember, I told you about the importance of choosing the right keywords? Thanks to SE Ranking’s data, you can choose your own promotional strategy. 

Furthermore, here you will also find an analysis of backlinks and will be able to monitor other important information on your website and that of your competitors. SE Ranking can also audit your website from the technical and user perspective and provide you with a report containing suggestions on what needs to be improved. In terms of ads, it has an entire section devoted to ad history where you can basically go back in time and analyze any website’s paid search campaign.

SE Ranking's paid search history

How are local search ads changing?

Google is constantly working on improving its advertising tool. The company itself analyzes how people search for various information on the Internet. Google Maps primarily focuses on mobile keywords. Not too long ago, the company added promoted Pins and brand logos. 

In addition, users can now launch promotions in their stores and customize business pages to show a range of products directly in a special menu. The search giant’s main goal is to completely optimize ads so that they could help people find what they’re looking for. Google is also constantly optimizing ads to make them less intrusive and more informative.

How does Google choose what ads to show?

It’s no secret that your store or office can be located near hundreds of other locations on the map, which are also marked as advertising pins. In this case, how can Google adequately display ads for each user separately? The company uses multiple signals:

  • The general context of the user’s search query and intent;
  • Their location and search history;
  • Common interests and behavioral factors;
  • Demographic information and specific time of day.

This algorithm closely resembles regular contextual advertising. That is why the company will show your customers thematic ads that match their search query.

Although the process is quite well automated, there are several important steps to take. First of all, you should set location extensions. Using such addresses will significantly increase the overall effectiveness of your ads, plus this is a key condition for displaying pins. 

You also need to carefully select all keywords and activate the necessary settings in Ads. I also advise you to use SE Ranking in order to prepare the right SEO methods and find the best keywords to help you promote your website. 

SE Ranking's keyword data and suggestions

Tips for beginners

Before you start advertising your business, you need to learn more about automatic ad rules. This can help you schedule when to start/stop an advertising campaign, adjust keywords, or receive performance alerts. This feature also advises you to create a specific scenario to save time in your profile and create the most effective ad impressions depending on the time of day, budget, or audience. 

Do not forget that you can use it in the list of keywords that will not be used in the search query or certain exceptions, and set up the location of the ad in the SERPs. Save all filter settings and choose automatic reporting to monitor the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Final thoughts

With this data, you can understand the basic principles of setting up an advertising campaign on Google Maps and get exposure for your business on the local scale. Now you can put all your acquired knowledge into practice. Add keywords and detailed information on your business or any other location to get more info and click on ad pins.

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2 comments
    1. Great question, Simon! Google is planning on ending ETAs (extended text ads) in their Google Ads platform. Eventually making every advertiser adopt RSAs (responsive search ads).

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