google-mapsGoogle Maps may, in fact, be the best invention from Google. Whether walking, driving, or taking public transportation, you can get anywhere with this handy (and free) app. If you are the type to get lost in your own house, Google Maps is your best friend. With over 1 billion downloads, many people use Google Maps to get where they want to go.

Businesses are always looking for new ways to advertise. Google Maps is no different. Google already utilizes a system that features paid advertisements on the results pages. Google recently unveiled updates to their Google Maps app. Now, local a business can run ads to attract customers to their physical stores. Google is revamping their ads to focus in on users’ searches on the app.

A new update to the app will allow users to see results geared to their search. When users complete a search, businesses with a paid ad will pop up first in the list of suggested places to go. If a user is in an unfamiliar area, they might need to search for gas in the area. Your gas station could be the one they go to if your business pays for an ad. The ad will pop up first among the other options.

Your business should pay particular attention to Google map’s new ads and make it a part of their SEO campaign. Here’s why.

Increased access to local customers

YesWereLocalIt is hard to grow a business. There is already competition from other physical businesses in the area. Add that completion on top of competing Internet sales, and it becomes harder to draw in revenue. How do you bring in business? Google ads are the answer. For a fledgling business, it may be hard to break into an overcrowded niche. For instance, coffee places could be everywhere. A purposeful ad on Google maps will bring customers to your business.

Google ads on the desktop site and the app will appear with a purple ad label next to the ad. The corresponding pin on the map is also purple, making it easier for users to find your business on the map.

So far, Google only allows two promoted businesses to appear at the top of the search results. It will make the competition for the top spot more important if your business is in an overcrowded local niche.

Special changes to paid pins

Those little indicators on the map are pins. These pins plop on the map in the exact location of each search result. Google recognizes the need to enhance pins. map-pinsThe growth of location-based searches has grown at a faster rate than any other mobile search.

In response to the changes in the way people search, Google made it their business to connect physical businesses with their online presence. The pins will now feature company logos underneath the purple promoted pin. Pins all look the same when sprawled out on a map. With the logos, it will be a nice way to distinguish a business in a sea of other pins. These pins are even visible while the user is using the app. While driving, walking, or taking public transit, users will be able to view local businesses. These small pins draw in business and avoids bothering the driver while the car is motion.

Advertisement of sales and promotions

When it comes to their favorite shop, users want to follow that business across all social media platforms. They will likely sign up for their e-mail alerts to let them know of all the new sales and items. Why not reach out to your customers in a new way?

Google Maps now allows businesses to advertise new promotions or sales. Who doesn’t love a good sale? It is a great way to remind old customers of a sale and draw in new customers.

The sale and other promotions will appear right under the ad. promotionsIt is a great draw for businesses and even better for the customer who was not aware of the new sale.

Customizable business pages in Google Maps

One of the newest trends is for businesses to bring their physical store in line with their online presence. Many stores are rolling out a feature where you buy online and pick up in the store. It gives you access to the store’s inventory without having to wait for shipping.

Google Maps is taking a page from businesses and allowing them to customize their promoted pins. Businesses already have the ability to list their hours, location, and contact information. Now, businesses can link their in-store inventory to better serve the customer’s needs.

Gone are the days where a customer will try their luck by going to a store to check inventory. In fact, many customers prefer to know a store’s inventory before wasting their time and gas by checking the physical store. For promoted ads, a business will send Google access to their inventory numbers. From there, users can check inventory right from Google Maps. It expedites the experience and allows users to complete every searching need without leaving Google Maps.

gps-mapThis particular function is currently available to select businesses. These businesses must meet Google’s set of requirements to qualify.

What can you do about the new changes?

If your business is not yet claimed on Google Maps, claim it with Phoenix SEO. Make sure that your business is visible on the map. Follow the instructions on the “Google My Business” page. A business that appears on Google Maps with accurate information is a reputable business in the eyes of Google Maps users.

From there, set up your Google AdWords. Google Maps’ ads will require participation in this program. Make sure to get your campaign started while Google completes the full rollout of new features. Google Maps has the ability to enhance your business if you use it to your full advantage.

Article by Jared Sherwood