COVID-19 has hit the entire retail ecosystem hard and without warning. This, as we’ve all experienced, has forced retailers to reinvent themselves in order to adapt to the new regulations. But most of all, the “new normal” has pushed them to evolve together with a new kind of consumer who does not understand, nor want, a single-channel shopping model. If a year ago, an omnichannel strategy could still be considered an added bonus, now it is an essential part of any retailers’ survival kit. In fact, 87% of shoppers now begin their search in digital channels – up from 71% the previous year. But then, every generation, from millennials to boomers, still prefer to make purchases in a brick and mortar store .

In order to leave no stone unturned in the customer journey, retailers need to understand that marketing their retail store and using the local capabilities of Google Ads go hand-in-hand. They must be aware that harnessing the power of Google Ads for local targeting will potentially be one of their biggest competitive advantages. Google is likely the first port of call for any prospective customer searching for a product, store, restaurant or service. For example: when someone displays behavior of interest or enters a search term into the search engine, Google serves them a relevant advert. Are we willing to miss out on the opportunity to be among them?

The Different Types of Local Ads

Did you know that the Google Ads platform supports several types of local/location-targeted advertising? That’s right, and it includes Google Search Campaigns and Google Local Campaigns. Let’s take a look at these and what you can do with them:

Google Search Campaigns

Google Search ads are triggered when a user types in a search term that you have targeted and also matches other specified criteria like location. The advert itself is shown next to search results, on other Google sites like Maps, Shopping, Google Images and on the websites of Google search partners.

What are some characteristics of these types of ads? 

  • Adverts link to landing pages or profile
  • Adverts can be geofenced with location targeting
  • Location Extensions can be applied, meaning the ad will show in Google Maps 
  • Store Visits can apply as a conversion (on selected accounts and territories)
  • If POS data is available direct Store Sales can apply as direct conversions (on selected accounts and territories)

Google Local Campaigns

Local campaigns do a lot of the heavy lifting on your behalf, making it easy to promote your retail stores across Google’s largest properties including the Google Search Network, Maps, YouTube and the Google Display Network. 

What are some characteristics of these types of ads? 

  • Adverts link to Local Profile only
  • Campaign optimisations are based on ML and the Store Visits conversion 
  • Store Visits can apply as a conversion
  • You can have map logo pins (paid feature)

Which One Should I Pick?

Now we know that the Google Ads platform supports several types of local/location targeted ads.  But, which one should you choose? In the chart below you can see some of the main differences between them and when to use each.

Good forOptimisationCan select keywordsCan be geofencedAppears inMinimum requirements
Google Search AdsAwareness, Offers, Online and Offline/VisitsDefault Ads OptionYesYes (no by default)Search, Maps (if location extension)None
Google Local CampaignStore VisitsMachine Learning + Store Visits KPINoNot manually, but it should automatically optimize targetsSearch, Maps, Youtube, Display, Competitor profile10+ locations, 30 days, $1000 daily spend

This Sounds Confusing, Why Bother?

While Google Ads may use a somewhat confusing naming convention for the different ad types, Google ads are a proven way to build awareness and drive traffic. The benefits are undeniable, with 63.7% of local businesses stating that paid search is either “very important” or “somewhat important” to their businesses. With the ability to use geotargeting, location extensions, and keyword targeting, Google Ads allow you to combine a variety of tactics to reach local customers in every way you can. 

Even though most retailers are aware of these benefits, plenty of them struggle with the set up of a Google Ad campaign and the time required to run it. Here’s where the good news comes in: it’s easy! Localistico’s user-friendly platform allows you to run and maintain geo-targeted ad campaigns across multiple locations from just one place. What’s more, it helps you automate them to drive local awareness and capture high intent, local customers.

Getting Started With Localistico

Localistico helps you to easily increase your local visibility with area-targeted campaigns to capture searches near your locations. Getting started is a breeze: simply input relevant terms/searches, locations to target, suggest ad content and set the budget. Leave the rest to us.

Google Ads has plenty of features to help local businesses target customers near them, and used hand-in-hand with Localistico’s smart technology, it gives you a powerful advantage in the all-too competitive physical retail world.

From here, we’ll automatically use this data to produce geofences, ad content and run the campaigns for you. This will remove the headache of managing campaigns manually, freeing up time for you to focus on what you do best. 

Combining Google Ads features to help local businesses target customers near them with Localistico’s smart technology gives you a powerful advantage in the all-too competitive physical retail world.

Google Ads has plenty of features to help local businesses target customers near them, and used hand-in-hand with Localistico’s smart technology, it gives you a powerful advantage in the all-too competitive physical retail world.

Looking to gain a competitive advantage? Book a custom demo session with one of our local marketing experts and learn how Localistico can transform your local marketing tactics.