We already know that local searches are gaining traction. Google announced back in 2014 that 50% of consumers who conducted local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on a PC or tablet did the same. This means that a business’s visibility in local search results has a direct impact on their in-store traffic.
While Google AdWords is useful for attracting targeted traffic to a business’s website, it’s also a useful tool for attracting visitors to physical stores, through the use of location extensions.
Google’s location extensions display a business’s address, location on a map and directions, in addition to the description lines and URL of the AdWords text. On mobile devices, extensions can also include clickable phone numbers.
As an added benefit, local businesses can now also display their user star ratings in their location extension. It’s widely known that people rely heavily on the opinions of their peers to assist in their decision making process, and it’s believed that these local ratings can make ads more useful to prospects, which in turn, can improve an ad’s performance.
Customers value this information highly – they want information instantly, and if they can’t find a business’s location quickly, it’s fairly likely they’ll look to another brand. In fact, a Google-commissioned study by Ipsos Australia shows that 45% of smartphone users say they are more likely to explore another brand or company when they can’t find a business’s location, with 40% saying they feel frustrated or annoyed, and 27% stating that they’re less likely to use that brand or company in the future.
Plus, location extensions don’t cost any extra, and they’ve been found to increase the CTR by approximately 10%!
Like other ad extensions, such as call, site-link, app and call-out, their integration ensures that an ad is given more prominence and more real estate in search engine results pages. Businesses also have total control over their location targeting. If a business has multiple storefronts, they can set a radius around their location extension addresses, which means their ads will appear for people nearby when they search for that business.
For businesses with brick and mortar stories, location extensions are an ideal way to showcase their proximity to their customers, and they’re a sure-fire way of standing out from the competition and attracting higher click-through rates.