How to Set Up Google AdWords Ads in Google Maps

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The larger the number of people who are trying to execute on a marketing tactic, the harder it becomes to get a high ROI from it.

It wasn’t uncommon to see e-mail open rates reach the upper 80% mark in the mid 1990s. In AdWords, some of the most popular keywords could be purchased for 5-10 cents per click.

The list goes on and on.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you already know how important it is to stay on top of the latest marketing techniques so you can beat your competition in the customer acquisition race.

Google launched initiatives in May 2016 that are related to local search results and are helpful if you have a retail or services business with a physical location because the ads appear in the “Local Finder” results in Google Maps. For example, if users search “Personal Injury Lawyer New York City,” they’ll be taken to a search results page with the top three results from Maps.

When users select the “more places” option, they’ll be taken to an extended list of results within the “Local Finder” of Google Maps. That’s where users can click to see sponsored ads listed at the top.

At Google's performance summit, they said that offline foot traffic and conversions often deliver stronger ROI for many marketers compared to e-commerce sales. In fact, offline sales account for over 93% of all retail sales in the US.

Although customers typically use the Internet to help them with buying decisions (like research), many of them still make purchases in-store. Location-related mobile search is growing 50% faster than all other mobile searches on Google — nearly one third of all Google searches are related in some way to location.

That’s why Google seems to be doubling down on expanding options for marketers when it comes to local search. In addition to letting business owners display ads at the top of organic results within Maps, they’ve also introduced the “promoted pins” option. Through this, users would be able to see certain pins on Maps near their location.

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For example, here’s what it looks like for a Walgreens in San Francisco:

How to Set Up Google AdWords Ads in Google Maps

Not only are potential customers able to see sponsored pins near their location, but they can also see specific promotions, discounts, etc. In the image above, you can see that Walgreens was offering $3 off contact lens solutions up to a particular date.

If you run a business that sells at a physical location, running Google AdWords in Maps could be one of the best marketing decisions you'll ever make.

Learn More: The 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making (And How to Avoid Them)

In one case study, Google presented the results of Nissan UK, which found thatsix percent of mobile ad clicks result in a trip to a dealership.” This delivered an estimated 25x ROI.

With a few simple steps, you can set up a Google AdWords campaign within Maps and boost your revenue by converting online users to offline sales.

How to Set Up Google AdWords in Google Maps

Many people turn to Maps to find restaurants, retail stores or services businesses near them. By running an ad within this application, you make it easier for potential customers to find out about you and make their way to your business location.

In fact, research shows that 50% of consumers visit a store within one day of searching for local information on their phones. People are heavily influenced by what they see when they search for location-based services, so setting up ads in Maps will help you make sure that you’re at the top of the list that they see.

There are two different places where ads can appear on Maps:

In the search results box…

How to Set Up Google AdWords Ads in Google Maps

And on the map itself.

How to Set Up Google AdWords Ads in Google Maps

From there, potential customers can either call you, get directions to your store, or view more information like reviews and store hours.

To show ads on Maps, you need to first enable Location Extensions for your AdWords account. Here's how.

What Are Location Extensions?

Local extensions are what show your business information on Maps — like your address, phone number, ratings, hours, etc.

Through location extensions, users would be able to tap to get directions to your physical location via mobile, or call you on the phone. Google enabled location extensions partly to encourage users to visit stores in person.

Location extensions allow your information to be displayed through rich text instead of just a normal search result. For example, these businesses at the top of the search rankings have them enabled.

How to Set Up Google AdWords Ads in Google Maps6

According to Google, ads with local extensions see a 10% boost in click-through rates. Apart from paid advertising, results that are displayed in rich text are heavily prioritized by Google when it comes to determining rankings — so it will boost your business’s SEO.

Step 1: Setting Up Location Extensions

Google uses a tool called “Google My Business” to help customers find your business online. This tool makes your specific business addresses available for ad campaigns on Google AdWords, so that you can produce ads that will be displayed locally.

You can also use it to make sure that your business information is displayed correctly, manage your reviews, track insights (i.e. number of clicks, calls, views, and how many people are getting directions to your business).

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