Google's Focus On Local Extends Campaign Options, Promoted Pins, Store Pick-Ups

Google estimates there are 350 times more searches for keywords "local" and "near me” compared with 10 years ago -- reaching a record high for local shops in 2018, according to the company’s data.

On Tuesday Google announced plans to expand and add campaign tools to help businesses send directions to consumers and increase phone calls and traffic to stores. These features -- arriving just in time for the holidays -- showcase product-specific information and offers, and promote businesses in Google Maps and across Google’s network.

Google Promoted Pins for Maps offers a new way for businesses to highlight their locations. Google Maps. Tapping on location pins in Maps, which Google estimates people do hundreds of millions of times weekly, will give businesses the ability to feature their locations when people search for directions.

Users can add businesses to their stop in route to a variety of locations. Businesses also can promote their locations as shoppers browse for information in the Google Display network.

Local Campaigns also showcases product-specific information and offers, and promotes business in Google Maps. 

Saks Fifth Avenue continues to increase its use of digital media, and became an early adopter of Local campaigns during the last holiday season to drive more store visits from online searches. Focusing on geographic location, Saks plans to expand Local campaigns to promote more locations after seeing an incremental lift in store sales and an increase of offline return on advertising spend of 7.7 times.

West Virginia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina are the five top states with consumers searching for local shops in 2019. The most popular local shops based on search in the past 12 months for local include flower, print, and tire stores.

The most popular mom-and-pop shops include the keywords restaurants, diner, pharmacy, coffee, and pizza.

Shopping campaigns, Shopping ads and local inventory ads, aim to help businesses increase sales both online and offline, as well as highlight details about the company’s product inventory.

Google estimates that it has more than two billion offers mapped to physical stores across 12 countries through local inventory ads, which recently expanded to Sweden, Norway and Denmark. 

Some 45% of global shoppers have used “buy online, pick up in store” to get their items from a local store.

Giving consumers more information about their buy online and pick-up in store options, Google will expand store pickup on Google to show the products are available for immediate store pickup and promote products that may not be available now, but can be easily shipped to a nearby store within a few days. These options — Pick Up Today or Pick Up Later — will serve up in the search results.

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