Monday, 15 April 2019 07:15

12 Step Guide to Local Search & Maps Ads: How to Generate New Clients For Your Local Business

If you need more foot traffic to your local store, your business needs to show up for search terms that your potential customers are using on Google daily.

Here’s the truth:

Local consumers want to find local businesses near them. Are you ready to appear for the right keywords and convince them you're the best business in their locality?

An effective way to do this is to advertise your business on Google Maps. What's the catch here?

People use Google Maps to search and navigate to over 1.5 billion destinations annually. Considering that a survey found it to be 6X more popular than any other navigational app, then it makes sense to appear here.

Added to these, you can start appearing for searches today. Let's see how you can get the best out of advertising on Google Maps.

What’s Google Maps Marketing? 

Google Maps Marketing is the process of optimizing your Google My Business page details to exploit Google Maps’ functionality to reach more local customers.

This includes having necessary details like NAP (Name, Address, Phone number), posts, images, reviews, etc. on your Google My Business page. Furthermore, it includes running ads to appear at the top of the rankings for specific keywords.

Guide to Local Search & Maps Ads

How Ads on Google Maps Work

If you already run ads on the Google Ads system, then you just need to make some tweaks to how you run your normal search ads.

But even if you have no experience, you’ll find enough tips here to guide you through the process.

1. Set Up Your Local Extensions

One of the features you get on Google Ads is extensions. It helps you to give more details about your ads and a better chance of a higher click-through rate. According to a Google study, 30% of mobile searches are related to location.

It was also found that 76% of people who search on smartphones for something nearby will visit a business within a day. It's a big opportunity for a local business.

Local Mobile Searches

How do you set up a local extension for your ads? Go to your Google Ads overview and click on “Ads and Extension” tab. Click on “Extensions.”

Ads and Extension

Click on “+ Ad Extension” and select “Location Extension.”

Location Extension

2. Set Up Your Ad

No matter how detailed your strategy is, you have to set up your ads to attract potential customers. How do you go about it?

The first step is to connect your Google My Business page to your ad account. After doing this, you can go on to add location extensions. It’s also important to sync your locations to ensure that your ads will show your locations.

Google My Business

3. Target & Bid By Specific Locations

Running a local business means a bulk of your customers come from your locality. Now it would make no sense to target locations where people are unlikely to buy your product.

That would be a waste of time, effort, and money.

Therefore, you have to target and bid for your ads to appear in locations close to your business. Apart from this, you can also view the details of how effective some locations are at converting new customers.

Due to this, you can bid higher for the high-conversion locations.

To do this, go to “Settings” and adjust your bids under “Locations” based on the performance of each location.

Target & Bid By Specific Locations

4. Target Specific Keywords In Your Campaign

When potential customers search for your service, they use specific keywords. If your business shows up for different keywords, then you end up wasting your ad budget.

Carrying out adequate keyword research will give you insights into the keywords your potential customers are using. With this, you can show up when they put these terms into the search box.

However, you need to note that keyword research goes beyond guesswork. You need tools to get the details about the keywords you intend to target. You also get new keyword ideas through these tools.

Google provides its own keyword planner tool. To even get more details about keywords, you can use other external tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, CognitiveSEO, Majestic SEO, Ubersuggest, KeywordTool.io, etc.

Google Ad Words

While using keyword research tools, some details you need to note are:

  • Search Volume
  • Clicks
  • Cost per click
  • Keyword Difficulty

5. Track Performance

How do you justify the amount you spend on ads? You need to be able to track the number of leads and customers you get through your ads.

There are many metrics you can track depending on how you want to measure performance. To do this, go to your Campaigns tab. Click on the “Segment” dropdown and then “Click Type.”

Track Performance

You’ll see many options as shown below and you can pick a suitable one.

Promoted Links

6. Use Promoted Pins

When you search for a term or a specific location on the map, you'll notice that some landmark locations have red pins. This makes these locations stand out to people viewing the map.

However, it's rare to see these pins on local businesses. With Google Map ads, you can use the promoted pins to bring more focus to your business on the map. The promoted pin is shown in purple color.

And the benefit for your business is that this pin will show up when a user has searched for a term related to your business. For instance, if you search for a pharmacy or contact lens or a related term, you can get a search term like below:

Use Promoted Pins

This gives you an edge if a searcher is looking to buy the product you sell.

7. In-store Promotions

If you have a promotion that happens to be the product a searcher is looking for, then it could be an incentive for the searcher to buy. But first of all, they have to know you're running a promotion.

You can display promotional offers for products that a potential customer will get when they visit your store. From the same example above, you can see the in-store promotion on contact lens solution.

In-store Promotions

8. Customize Your Business Page With Local Inventory

If you run a restaurant or pharmacy or any other business that have many products, it can sometimes be confusing to potential customers.

People don't want to leave the comfort of their homes just to get to your store and discover the product they want to buy is out of stock.

Some people can develop cold feet while thinking of coming to your store because of this.

Fortunately for your business, you can eliminate this risk for a potential customer by adding local inventory to your business page.

Local Inventory

You'll have to make your stock details available to Google to utilize this option. It makes your potential customer's life easier if they know a product is in stock before they come over to your store.

When searchers click-through your ad, it'll lead to a page that you can customize according to your needs. Potential customers can search for a product on this page to see if it's in stock.

See an example below:

 Customize Your Business Page With Local Inventory

If this sounds difficult to execute, we’re here to support and help you.

Contact Bloominari’s team of local SEO experts today.

9. Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Before people ever get to your physical store, they get the first impression of your business from your Google My Business page. On this page, people see all the basic details they need to know about your business.

What are some ways to optimize your Google My Business page effectively?

i). Ensure correct NAP (Name, Address, and Phone)

For all your local listings, you should ensure a consistent name, address, and phone number. And this applies to your Google My Business page. Potential customers can contact you through your phone number or locate you on the map with the right address.

 Google My Business page

ii). Encourage Reviews

This is a form of social proof that shows others have done business with you in the past. A potential customer can form their opinion of how good your service is through reviews.

For instance, a study found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Encourage Reviews

Encourage your current customers to drop reviews on your page.

iii). Add posts and images

Even though posts usually spend about a week before they disappear on your page, it's a good way to announce new developments, events, promotional offers for your business.

Images of your business location and some of the services you offer can increase your credibility to a potential customer.

Create Post

10. Minimize Your Local Search Ads Cost and Boost Clicks

Spending money doesn't automatically bring you loads of customers. But spending it wisely will. While bidding for keywords, you'll notice that some have a higher cost per click than others.

In some cases, this is usually because some clicks are more valuable than others. In some other cases, it's because everyone is focusing on those keywords.

As a local business, you can reduce the amount you spend on ads and increase your click-through rates when you find long-tail keyword opportunities.

These are longer keywords (3 or more words) that usually have lower search volume than head terms.

But despite their low search volumes, it's easier to understand the searcher intent for these keywords. For instance, “buy winter shoes Boston” shows more intent than just “buy shoes.”

With the use of location-based keywords, bid optimization, and geo-targeting, Georgia Eye Associates reduced their cost per click from $4.91 to $2.31 and increased their click-through rate from 0.95% to 2.80%.

Georgia Eye Associates

11. Leverage Click-to-text Message Extension

If you offer a service, how easy would it be if potential clients can book an appointment with you right on the search page? Very easy.

Click-to-text Message Extension

This is what the click-to-text message extension can do for your business. If users are convinced by the offer in your ad, they can simply book an appointment. This gives you a higher chance of conversion.

Go to the “Extension” settings in your Google Ads overview and select “+ Message Extension.”

Message Extension

With a message extension in their ads, Career Path Training Corp. was able to get qualified leads from 30% of the texts they received.

12. Use Geo-targeting Ads For Specific Locations

From your customer records, you can tell where most of your customers live. You can use your ad to target more potential customers from this location. How do you go about this?

Go to campaign settings and click on “Edit” below locations.

Campaign Settings

You can either set a town or region as your location depending on your service area. Also, you can set a radius around your business location.

radius around your business location


If you’re looking to generate new clients for your business, then map ads is a viable way to get positive results in a short period of time.

This guide has provided best practices you can follow to ensure you get maximum results from your map ads.

Follow these steps and you’ll see a positive change in client generation for your business.

Do you want to attract more local customers and clients to your business?

At Bloominari, our San Diego Digital Marketing Agency can help you optimize your Google Maps ads and Local SEO. Contact us today.

marketing lead generation

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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