Google Ads Local Campaigns: The best solution for businesses with physical stores

Gotraffic author

Matea Viher

17 November 2021 | Google Ads

Google Ads Local Campaigns: The best solution for businesses with physical stores


Google Ads has given various businesses the ability to advertise on the Search and Display network. Most of them can successfully advertise based on keywords or image ads – whether it is a webshop where users can buy online or a hair salon whose main goal is to generate calls and orders.

In addition to the already well-known ways of Google Ads advertising, local campaigns further expand the opportunities for those who do business in physical stores.

Thus, by using local campaigns, the hair salon from the first paragraph can add new local ads to the existing advertising methods. Local ads will be displayed to users who search for terms related to the hair salon, and are located near the physical location of the salon. This increases the visibility of the business and the possibility of personal arrival of the user in the salon.

Also, this type of campaign is especially useful for those who have not been able to advertise through Google Ads so far.

For example, a local grocery store or discount store is not something that consumers will look for in advance. They are more likely to search for appropriate terms if necessary to find the nearest store.

Therefore, they have not benefited much from keywords or display advertising. But with local campaigns, they can take advantage of searches like this to show their locations above the locations of other competitors and encourage store visits.

To summarize, Google Ads local campaigns serve to increase the reach and visibility of your store. With this type of ad, you get the opportunity to provide potential customers near you with information that will make it easier for them to make a decision about visiting the store.

Where do local campaign ads appear?

Local campaign ads appear on all Google products, including the search and display network, Google Maps, and YouTube.

  1. Google Maps

When users plan their trip or activities. When they are searching for businesses and local activity, Google associates those searches with your business and shows them ads when appropriate.

Anyone who is nearby or shows interest in your location can see your ad.

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  1. Google Search Network

Google will match search terms relevant to your business or location with your ad and display them when it’s considered relevant to the user.

Your ads will appear on the part of the search engine that contains data from Google Maps.

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  1. Google Display Network

Your ads will appear where Google estimates they may be relevant.

Google Ads itself will optimize where your ads appear to get the most attention for your stores and products.

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  1. YouTube

Google Ads can show your ads on YouTube where they are most likely to attract potential users to the store.

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  1. Google My Business profile

Your ads will also appear on your company’s Google My Business profile, and this is especially useful if you have some special offers and promotions that you want to highlight.

Ads on a GMB profile will appear when someone enters your business name and Google is able to show you your GMB profile.

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  1. Gmail

Local campaigns will show ads on Gmail on mobile devices.

As with all placements before, Google will decide for itself when is the best time to show your ads.

How do local campaigns work?

Local campaigns are based on locations from your Google My Business profile, so it’s a key thing you need to have in order to create a local campaign at all.

Local campaigns are quite different from regular Google Ads campaigns. With other types of campaigns you have a certain level of campaign monitoring and personalization, but local campaigns rely on automation heavily.

This actually means that apart from editing information on your GMB profile, creating ads and setting a budget, you can’t do much more. Once you’ve set up your campaign, you can further define specific audience segments that you want to target or exclude.

Local campaigns will set their own geo-targeting and keywords, and determine where your ads will appear and to whom.

The goal of a local campaign is to show your ads to users who are close to you and who are interested in what you have to offer.

In addition, local campaigns use only one bidding strategy – maximize conversion value.

This works by having Google Ads automatically create two new conversion actions – phone number clicks and driving directions – with a conversion value of US $ 1.00. Optionally, you can increase the value of each conversion to optimize Google Ads for more conversions with a higher value.

In some countries, there is an option to monitor store visits with regard to the location of users.

How to set up a local campaign?

Very simple!

  1. In the “Campaigns” section, click the blue button with the plus sign and select “New Campaign.”
  2. Select “Local shop visits and promotions” as your campaign goal, then “Local campaign”.
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  1. Then choose whether you want to use business locations or affiliate locations. Choose only one or more locations if you have them.
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  1. Enter the campaign settings that the system wants you to (name, languages, budget, which conversions you want to track).
  2. After that, the creation of the ad group (you just need to name it) and the ad itself starts. You’ll need a landing page for your ad, up to 5 titles, up to 5 descriptions, up to 5 calls to action, images, and videos.

Very important: videos are a mandatory part of the ads that you must insert via the YouTube link, so posting will require you to open a YouTube channel and have at least one video you can use. 

After that, you’re done setting up your campaign, and it’s time to leave the optimization to Google.

Where can I see local campaign results?

Local campaigns can result in six types of user action:

  • clicks to call – clicks on the “Call” button on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction
  • directions – clicks on the “Get directions” button on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction
  • website visits – clicks on the website link on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction
  • other engagements – clicks on other tracked user actions (for example: share location, save, etc.) on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction
  • orders – clicks on the “Order” button on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction
  • menu views – clicks on the menu link on any Google location-based ad or service after an ad interaction.

To know exactly what you have accomplished there is a “Per store report”. Per store report shows you the data for each store separately. You can find it by selecting “Locations” in the menu on the left, and then “Per store report”.

For local campaigns, there’s no option to show you which networks got you the most impressions, clicks, and conversions, but you can get a partial view of that data with Reports.

Go to the campaign and select an ad group level.

Click on “Reports” in the upper right corner. Then go to “Display / Video” and select “Automatic placements (group)”.

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You can see on which websites, mobile applications and Youtube channels your ads have been shown and what are the results of those views.

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Why are local campaigns effective?

There are several reasons why using local campaigns is a smart strategy for many companies:

  • Relevance is a significant determinant of successful PPC advertising. In addition to affecting CTR and other key metrics, showing ads to users near your branch is guaranteed to be relevant.
  • Many of the keywords used for local searches are very specific and show a clear intention of the user, such as “pizzeria near me” or “pizzeria brooklyn”. Attracting users who search in this way is extremely valuable because they are ready to react immediately.
  • Because local campaigns aim to attract users in a particular geographic location, competition for keywords (although defined by Google) is significantly less than nationwide, on the city or state level. 

How to make your local campaigns more successful?

  1. Create compelling ads

To get started, fill out all the options Google Ads has to offer. If you can add up to 5 titles, don’t limit yourself to 3. Entering the maximum number of possible elements provides Google with more material to combine and optimize. 

Google further recommends that you create location-based messages. This would mean that it is better to write “Grocery store Brooklyn” in the title than “Grocery store New York” or just “Grocery store”. By refining the location, users will be more inclined to visit because the location will automatically seem closer to them.

If you have a special offer or promotion, be sure to emphasize it in the ads.

Also pay attention to the images you upload – make sure that the image is clear and easily recognizable, and has a clear focus, without unnecessary details.

  1. Determine the conversion value

We already mentioned that when setting up a local campaign, 2 conversions with a value of USD 1.00 are automatically created.

If you leave both values at USD 1.00, Google will optimize equally for both.

But consider whether one of the conversions (calls, driving directions) is more important to you than the other. If one of them is, increase its conversion value to signal that to Google.

  1. Wait at least 30 days to gather enough performance data

This is an instruction provided by Google itself, citing the following: “It may take some time for users to convert after interacting with your ad. Our models also take a few weeks to learn more about your performance and perform optimization according to your goals. Avoid making campaign changes or evaluating performance prematurely. ”

Conclusion

  • Google Ads local campaigns serve to increase the reach and visibility of your stores.
  • With this type of ad, you get the opportunity to provide potential customers near you with information that will make it easier for them to make a decision about visiting your store.
  • Local campaigns further expand opportunities for those operating in physical stores.
  • This type of campaign is especially useful for those who have not been able to advertise through Google Ads so far.
  • Ads are shown on Google Maps, search engine, display network, YouTube, Gmail and GMB profile.
  • They are very useful because they increase relevance and respond to specific local queries.

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