‘Promoted Pins’ now available in Google Maps

We have seen AdWords ads in Google Maps come and go but, with the rise of mobile search, Google now seems to be getting serious about it.

While Google has offered a range of different “local as a percent of overall mobile search” metrics in the past,  local searches on mobile devices are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall. With this in mind, Google is now enabling promoted pins for map searches.

When someone performs a search in the Google Maps mobile app, search ads are eligible to appear among the listed results below the search box and map. A purple icon showing the location of the business may also appear on the map.

Ads may also feature a Call button and a Directions button. People can tap the ad to view more information about the business, such as store hours and customer reviews.

The purpose of the Google Maps ads and promoted pins is to increase physical visits to and transactions with local businesses. Google says that the growth in offline transactions from online searches is outpacing e-commerce transactions for many marketers.

Google Maps Promoted Pin Ads

To enable promoted pins you need to use location extensions first, in order to appear on the maps. Google also says it’s still testing and experimenting with formats, so we’re likely to see map ad options change over time as they roll out in new markets.

Why should you care?

We haven’t seen promoted pins here just yet but they are coming. Any business that values walk-in foot traffic should take heed and consider incorporating this into their business as usual PPC strategy.
To be eligible to show local search ads on Maps:

  • Enable location extensions for your AdWords account.
  • Make sure that your Google My Business listing is updated and accurate.
  • Target a specific location and set bids by location, so that your bids increase for people located near your business.
  • Use keywords in your campaigns that relate to your location and what people are searching for locally.

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About the Author Glenn Marvin

Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.

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