An increasing number of local searches on Google Maps are turning up the volume of search ads serving on the property. Efforts have resulted in increased ad traffic, with brand keywords getting about 3.3% of phone traffic from the "Get location details" click type for advertisers with a brick-and-mortar presence, according to a report released Tuesday. Non-branded share hovers around 0.6%.
That may not seem like much for branded keywords, per Merkle's Digital Marketing Report Q3 2016, but analyzing how brand CPCs compare on phones, the agency found "Get location details" CPC rose 63% higher than clicks on an ad’s headline, the most common click type. Non-brand phone clicks for ‘Get location details’ are 48% more expensive than headline clicks.
Advertisers only need to have the addresses of their brick-and-mortar locations active as location extensions in AdWords to serve the local search ads. It's triggered by Maps queries. There’s no clean way to segment AdWords reporting to view how local search ads perform, but advertisers can download their AdWords performance by click type from the AdWords interface to get "decent visibility" into the impact of local search ads.
Mobile devices drove 48% of organic search visits -- up from 46% in the second quarter of 2016, but well below the 57% of paid search clicks that took place on mobile devices, according to the report.
In addition to a lift from Maps Ads, Mark Ballard, Merkle’s director of research, points to the growth of Google Shopping compared with search text ads. He attributes the growth partly to Product Listing Ads on mobile. "We believe Google's getting a descent amount of volume from Yahoo and the ability to serve ads on Google image search," he said.
PLAs are growing about six times faster than search text ads, compared with text ads, which are growing about 9% to 10% annually in terms of advertising spend, he said. Google text ad spending rose 9% on 11% higher clicks.
Advertisers spent 20% more on Google search ads in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the year-ago quarter, down from 22% growth a quarter earlier. Click volume grew 28%, while CPCs fell 6%.
Google Shopping or PLAs spend grew 36% year-over-year (YoY) up 59% in clicks.
Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini combined search ad spending fell 14% YoY in the quarter, compared to a 17% decline in second quarter of 2016. Bing Product Ad spending declined 12%, while Gemini’s share of click volume across both platforms remained flat at 17%.
Merkle's clients, which skew more heavily toward retail, have been buying more display ads. Ballard said display ad spending continues to grow faster than any other channel. Ad spend for display on Google, Facebook and other platforms among Merkle clients rose 46% in the quarter compared with the year-ago quarter.