Google Ads for Small Businesses
Google says their Local Ads are: designed to help businesses provide their potential customers the information that they need to decide when and how to visit their stores. Every small business with a brick and mortar location should consider these.
Let’s take a deep dive into these ads and take a look at real results from some of my clients using Local Search Ads. Google, which continually rolls out new features every year, is pushing more and more for automation. From campaign types to bidding strategies Google has made it easier for small businesses to launch ads. I’ve been a pessimist about some of these features, enjoying greater control of a campaign is arguably the biggest selling point for the platform to begin with. Local Ads are different in a good way.
The core feature of these campaigns piggybacks of a businesses location using their Google My Business account. These ads are unique in that they combine Google’s Search Network with Display, YouTube and Maps. An advertiser has to provide a few things that make these ads a little more difficult to launch compared to other campaign types. You’ll need to add a few lines of text for headlines, and assets like images (for the Display Network), a video (for YouTube), and a Google My Business account (for Maps). Based on a user’s location and search, your ad may appear in a number of ways. For example, a search for “electronics store” might result in the following results. Notice that Google Maps appears above website search results, and the first result has the “Ad” icon in the upper left hand corner.
Are Google’s Local Search Ads worth it for small businesses?
I think any brick-and-mortar small business should consider local ads. After launching these ads for several small businesses I’ve seen their success first hand! The highlights for my clients have been 1) much lower cost-per-clicks (under .40/click), 2) high impressions rates (great for awareness), 3) better interaction attribution (ads will track users who click for directions and other interactions with your GMB account), and 4), my favorite, the ability to track store visits. What’s more, these ads simple to set up and Not everyone will be eligible for store visit conversions. It’s important to understand that a store’s overall foot traffic and the ads clicks/impressions totals affect eligibility. Furthermore, some local businesses might not want to encourage store visits, but still want website traffic. There are other ad types to consider if those metrics aren’t important.
Let’s look at some real results The results below are from a coffee shop and juice bar in Florida. Food related businesses have razor thin margins, and marketing budgets have to focus on value. We only spent $215 over 30 days and look at the results – 80 store visits! This was a huge win for a business with a small budget and is foot traffic dependent.
Next we’ll look at an automotive repair shop in Texas. Better margins than a coffee shop, and a higher budget gave us more great results.
And finally here are the results for a pizza restaurant in North Dakota. I purposely shared their results because they do not offer dine-in service and cannot track store visits. The ads are producing more calls than any of our search ads, including call-only ads.