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image AdWords recently announced an upgrade to Local Business Ads:

Beginning today, your ad’s information window in Google Maps will feature new interactive links that are designed to connect users to your business quickly. The info window is the window that opens when a user clicks on an organic search listing or a sponsored result on Google Maps.

Interaction Report to be Updated

Soon, AdWords will also add more information to the Interaction Report. Right now, the interaction report is mostly used for learning about how user are interacting with your rich-media ads. In fact, the only help files for this report are under gadget ads. Hopefully, Google will update the report FAQs with gadget, video, and local business ads information.

Use Your Business Name in the Ad Copy

Local business ads are they only AdWords ad type where your default title should be your business name. Rarely is your business name the best headline. It’s always worth testing your business name in ad copy, but in general, it’s not a good headline for search.

Where are Local Business Ads Displayed

The last bit is the tricky part of LBAs (Local Business ads). If you just create a local business ad, that ad could be shown all over the AdWords networks. Don’t forget that you can control your LBA display with your campaign settings. I’ve even seen some companies with custom campaigns just for LBAs for tracking and ad serving control.

Creating Local Business Ads

This is one of the few places where Google uses non-AdWords data to control AdWords. Your business must first be listed in Google Maps before you can create an LBA. You can do a search for your business in Google Maps. If you don’t see your business listed, then you can add your business to Google Maps. Even if your business is listed in Google Maps, it’s a good idea to create a Local Business Center account and take control of your listing.

Note: If you have many locations, use the Bulk Upload function to save yourself time. If you’re someone who markets for local businesses, it can be a great idea to write a program that does this automatically from your customer’s source data.

Measuring Local Business Ad Results

You can always run an Ad Performance Report and see how your LBA is performing. If you use Google Conversion Tracker, this report will show you the cost per conversion and conversion rate of your LBAs (please use both Conversion tracking and analytics).

However, LBAs show a phone number in the ad copy. It could be your main business number – but it doesn’t have to be. You could use a different phone number in the ad copy and track how many calls came from just the ad. You’re not charged when someone views your LBA on Google maps – you are only charged when someone clicks on the ad and visits your site.

Conclusion

If you have a local business – you should use AdWords Local Business ads. The amount of inventory (impressions/clicks) available on Google maps has surprised many a business. Consumers generally go to Google Maps for two reasons:

  1. Driving Directions
  2. Find a business

If someone is looking for your products or services – you want to be in front of them. Local Business ads will definitely get you there.

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