Google Maps ads are here. So what does this mean for users and how can it help your small business?
Google Maps Ads: For Users
Google is not stupid. They knew that users wanted to see more listings. Users used to seeing more listings with the old Google Maps interface. With the new Google Maps interface they cut down on the number of listings to reduce clutter.
Something had to give if they wanted to display ads in Google Maps and still keep users. To do this they added a scroll bar to the desktop search. It’s less visually appealing than it was, but you’re now getting more results. This is a big win for users.
Google Maps Ads: For Small Businesses
The new scroll bar is beneficial to your small business even if you do not pay for Google Maps Ads. It helps because your local business is now more likely to appear in the list. Appearing in the list is key for your local business as it displays key business info like your location, category, your Google ratings and review count, and an image for your location. If you’ve optimized this information for local SEO you will see a higher click-through rate now that you’re appearing in the list.
So let us take a look at someone running an ad:
Here we see an ad that takes users to specially crafted landing pages for the business. Be warned that these landing pages come at a price. Google only uses so much room for each listing. If you choose to display landing pages they will not display your physical location anymore in the list. This is a trade-off you will have to make.
This new format supports the call extension and the location extension to Google Ads. These extensions are beneficial because they increase your click-through rate. They also help increase sales at your physical location. Both of these extensions cost the same as a standard Cost-Per-Click (CPC). For local businesses with a physical location it is best to enable both of these extensions for the best results.
These ads are not limited to just desktop search. The new Google Maps ads will appear in Google Maps for Mobile. I have tried, but so far I have not yet seen any ads on my Galaxy S5. I do not know if they are rolling out the mobile ads in phases or I am just too far away from anyone running an ad. But I assure you that Google is not leaving out ads from mobile users. They will see them as well.
Thank you and keep building your brand.