This past Friday, Google announced that they redesigned the local ad formats in Google Maps for Mobile. The announcement in and of itself isn’t that exciting. However, Google is claiming that this visual redesign has increased click-through-rate (CTR) by 100 percent in initial tests!
First a bit of background: the local ads in question are a function of Location Extensions that are managed through Google AdWords. Location Extensions can show local data in the map block of Google search results. But where advertisers who have brick and mortar locations have seen great value is that Location Extensions also push ads into maps on mobile devices. Impressions, clicks, and conversions are all recorded through AdWords.
This ad reformat focused on the user experience. The new local ads emphasize the “get directions” and “click to call” calls-to-action. There is now a “hyperlocal marker” that “shows the user how close they are to an advertiser’s business location.”
It is easier than ever for advertisers to reach customers who are actively searching for a product or service while in transit (e.g., mobile). Once the user clicks the ad, the website opens inside the Maps app limiting confusion and “without losing context.”
In order to take advantage of these local ads, Google provides three basic, but vital instructions:
- Target Mobile in your AdWords campaign
- Enable Search Partners (this allows your ads to be eligible for Google Maps)
- Set up Location Extensions in your AdWords campaign
The campaigns I manage that are running Location Extensions within the given parameters (targeting mobile; search partners) already generate a great CTR and I would be eager to push it even higher. However, I haven’t seen any immediate lift in CTR since Friday’s update.
Has anyone else seen a lift from this update? Leave a comment to discuss!