Google recently introduced its newest upgrade to the location extensions feature, in a makeover that allows advertisers to showcase multiple business locations beneath their sponsored listing, within a relevant area. For local businesses running paid search campaigns, this feature extends the capability of a sponsored listing to include up to four nearby business locations shown on a Google map alongside their PPC ad and gives searchers the ability to search for the location nearest to their address (within that paid ad). This upgrade comes as an improvement to last year’s debut of the first generation location extension feature, which allowed advertisers to dynamically attach just a single business address to their paid ads using location extensions (note: location extensions replaced the previous “local business ads”).
In short, location extensions enhance a typical PPC text ad beyond the traditional two lines of ad copy and headline. Here are the key features that benefit local businesses tremendously:
- Enhances a text ad with relevant and nearby location information (business address, phone number, option to get directions).
- Grabs additional top-of-the-page real estate (adds a Google map and multiple locations below the text ad, which is fantastic if the current Google Place Page is not ranking in the local 7-pack).
- Business location results update dynamically when a user searches for locations near their specific address.
- For larger companies with a high volume of locations, be cognizant when utilizing location extensions (currently limited to the four most relevant locations) as it may result in an uneven display of store locations.
- Potential to improve CTR (click through rate), based on additional, eye-grabbing location information.
- In certain instances, location extension ads can be displayed on the Search Network, Display Network and on Google Maps.
Take the search query “seattle moving company” for example, which returns the following result, shown in figure 1. By searching for locations closest to a specific address, the paid listing dynamically updates to also show the nearby Tacoma location (with the ability to show up to four locations, if a local business has that many). There is no additional fee, and an advertiser only pays for the click, based on the typical CPC bidding through AdWords.
Figure 1: AdWords Location Extensions for Multiple Locations
And, if your ad is not capturing the first position, don’t worry. By utilizing location extensions your ad can still look like figure 2, where the most relevant business address is dynamically attached to the bottom of your text ad.
Figure 2: AdWords Location Extensions for an ad not in the #1 position
How to Implement Location Extensions in your AdWords Account:
AdWords gives local advertisers the option to automatically (business owners only) or manually include business locations in ads. To automatically include information, you must be a business owner. This allows you to link your existing Google Places account to your AdWords account to populate your local extensions. If you are not a business owner, you have the option to manually enter business location information for your location extensions through the AdWords interface. Follow these easy steps from Google (shown below) to implement location extensions in your AdWords account:
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the campaign you want to edit.
- Click the Settings tab for that campaign.
- Under Ad extensions > Locations, select one of the following options:
- Business owners – Use addresses from Google Places: Select this option to link an existing Google Places account to your campaign. Eligible addresses from your Google Places account may be shown with your ad when relevant.
- Non-business owners – Use manually entered addresses: You can manually enter up to 9 business addresses. Again, the address may be shown with your ad when relevant.
- Click Save settings.
And finally, Google has hinted that they will soon be adding a feature to AdWords Editor to support location extensions. However, for now advertisers have to stick with editing and managing location extensions through the new AdWords interface.