In its ever-evolving quest for relevance, search/advertising giant Google is placing huge focus on the user's current (or future) location. Google now displays results based on search, with corresponding Google Places results (physical places where users can find their search results in the real world).
For example if I search 'Self storage Newlands', I will receive organic PLACES results at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). I will receive paid for Adwords on the right and top of the SERP. And organic search results below the organic Places results.
Google now lets advertisers combine these result formats and essentially hit the target market head on. It's a simple two-step process.
Firstly, optimise your Google Places listings, so that Google has a 100% accurate understanding of what products/services you offer as well as where you offer them. Secondly, create a Google Adwords strategy that links into these locations with Google adword location extensions.
If I'm one of the advertisers buying Adwords and I have an optimised Google Places account, I can link a location extension onto my Adwords campaign. This closes the loop in my Adwords campaign as users can now find a location to buy the product or service that they were searching for.
The blue pin above is an example of an Adwords campaign running with a location extension (essentially pulling in info from Google Places).
If you're running an Adwords campaign, it's a no brainer that you include location extensions:
You will get almost double the precious real estate compared to other ads on the SERP by linking a location extension (effectively giving you two extra lines for free!) thus making your business stand out and appear more authoritative. Compare the Westin listing above to the other adwords results...
The blue pin differentiates your location from that of normal listings.
But more importantly searchers can simply click on the blue pin and get directions (desk bound) or be navigated (mobile) to your location to make a purchase.
For over a decade Google has driven search traffic to specific places on the Internet, now it's driving search to physical locations and leading to real sales in the real world.
Neil Clarence, director at Business Positioning Systems, explains -
"Google offers advertisers maximum relevance as demonstrated by the convergence of Google Places, the Adwords platform, and in the future Google+. Google knows what people want (based on search request) AND, with the help of companies like BPS, where people can get what they want...need plus location equals a compelling ad platform. We've worked with a number of South Africa's more digitally literate brands and media agencies who are amongst the first advertisers worldwide to use Google to drive customers in store."
Any brand or media agency that deals with retail needs to include location ad extensions to their Adwords campaigns. This requires an optimised Google Places listing and then integrating this with their Adwords account.
Business Positioning Systems have been optimising Google Places listings for their clients for three years plus and are the thought leaders in this space. Contact if you're an agency who wants to add Location Extensions to your client's Adword campaigns, or if you're a brand that wants to push people from the digital world into your real world outlets.