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06/01/2021

All inventory (and ads) are local with new Google ad capabilities

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Google is making it easier for retailers to reach consumers who want what they are selling – and are in the neighborhood.

The technology titan is rolling out several new ways for digital advertisers to leverage Google Maps to perform real time, targeted marketing. First, auto-suggest ads show a retailer’s nearby location to consumers to users searching for its specific products and/or services, such as an ad for a nearby auto service center if they search for “oil change.”

Second, navigational ads can promote a retailer while consumers are using Google Maps to navigate somewhere. A store can show up along the route for relevant users, displayed in a non-intrusive way that is safe for the driver.

Third, similar places ads allow retailers to show a store location to consumers who are searching on Maps for similar businesses nearby. For example, if someone is looking to pick up tacos, they could see a suggested alternative nearby. And retailers can display products available for immediate or later in-store or curbside pickup via local inventory ads. 

In addition to Google Maps, Google is expanding ways for Local campaigns to display in other places across Google, as well. Many Local campaigns customers have already added product inventory to their Local campaigns to promote nearby items across their Display and Business Profile ads. Now, retailers can show their location-specific product inventory in their YouTube ads. Later in 2021, Google will expand this capability to Search and Maps ads. Similar to your circulars or flyers, retailers will have the control and flexibility to select the products that appear.

Also later in 2021, retailers will be able to understand sales driven by local campaigns via store sales reporting, not just store visits and local actions. This will be followed by the ability for retailers to optimize their campaign for these store sales.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen more people use Google Maps to explore something they’re interested in, not just to find where it is located,” Reena Nadkarni, product lead, local ads, Google, said in a corporate blog post. “For example, searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased globally by 5,000% year over year.”