Google Local Campaigns

Google Local Campaigns – Drive Sales for Your Brick & Mortar Store

Some may argue that Google Ads are not designed in a way that drives customers to their offline businesses. Online conversions, call tracking, etc. it’s all about what happens online. For some, offline conversions are the true measure of success. 

While regular campaigns will show store visits (when you meet the requirements), all optimization is based on actions that take place on the web. That’s where Local Campaigns come to the rescue. They offer a way to bring customers directly to businesses. 

HOW DO LOCAL CAMPAIGNS WORK?

Google Ads Local Campaigns are an automated ad type. Think of a local campaign like instant pudding – put in a few ingredients and the rest happens on its own. They work by combining Google Ads and your Google My Business or Affiliate Locations. All you need to do is have your Google My Business profile complete and up to date, and Google does the rest for you.

Who Can Use Google Local Campaigns?

Wondering what the user requirements are for this campaign type? Google states that “you’ll need to meet the store visit conversion eligibility requirements.” Those requirements are:

  • Have multiple locations
  • Be in an eligible country or region
  • A minimum of 90% of your linked locations in Google Ads must be verified in Google My Business
  • Receive thousands of viewable impressions and ad clicks
  • Location extensions are active in your Google Ads account
  • All store locations have been created in your Google My Business account
  • Have enough offline store data on the back end to associate to viewable impressions and clicks
  • Have Google My Business and Google Ads linked

Where Do Your Campaigns Appear?

Local Campaigns appear all across the web. They serve on Google Maps, YouTube, the Google Display Network, and the Google Search Network. Basically, you get to be seen on all of Google’s properties in one campaign.

1. On Google Maps

If you’re tired of just hoping your location extensions will get you on Google Maps, then you’ll be excited to hear Local Campaigns will place your ads in this coveted spot. Your ads will come up when someone is exploring your area or searching for products or services you offer while they are in your area or researching it.

2. YouTube Ads

If your customers are on YouTube, then your ads will pop up all around YouTube placements. They’ll be placed on properties where your ad is most likely to be clicked.

3. Google Search Network

One of the fantastic things about this campaign type is that you maintain visibility on the intent-driven Search Network. Google will match up your ads with the appropriate search terms when they fit with your location and business.

4. Google Display Network

On the Display Network, your store’s ads will be served on the most relevant properties. Google will optimize your ad placements to help you achieve your campaign’s goals.

How to Set Up a Local Campaign

Now that you know why you should try out some Local Campaigns, we’ll show you how to get them set up. In a few easy steps, you’ll be able to set up your campaign and increase your foot traffic.

To get started, sign in to Google Ads and navigate to the account where you’d like to add the campaign. Click the blue plus button to create a new campaign. When you are asked to choose a campaign type, click on Local shop visits and promotions. You’ll be prompted to select store locations. You’ll have two options – to use your Google My Business or affiliate locations (stores where your products are sold – choose the option that best fits your goal and store model. Now click Continue.

Name your campaign and start filling in your ad copy. You can have up to five headlines and five description lines. Calls-to-action need to be manually inputted here as well. You can have five in total. Add your display paths (two in total) if you’d like to customize them and then type in your final URL. You can also add a mobile URL if you’d like to send your mobile traffic to another landing page.

You’ll also add your images and logos. Just like Responsive Display ads, you can search for images on your site or upload them. It’s also possible to use a video in your ads, though it must be at least 10 seconds in length. 

Selecting the Right Settings for your local ads

Lastly, you’ll want to find the settings that are right for you. Pick a language and enter your daily budget. Your bid strategy will be filled in for you. The default is maximize conversions because the goal of the campaign is to drive more store visits. You can also add start and end dates if you’d like the campaign to run for a specific period of time. Please note that Google will infer your location targeting based on your Google My Business or affiliate locations. You can make some geographic exclusions if you need to.

Click Save and Continue. Your campaign is ready to go! You can add additional ad groups, or you can let it run as is.

For a full list of character counts and video and image specifications, visit Google’s help file regarding campaign setup.

Using Google My Business

When you use your Google My Business account, you are able to use all of the locations that are linked in your account or just a subset. If you’d like to use a subset, you’ll select Use Location Group. If you have an existing location group, you can just click on that. Or if you prefer, you can create a new location group. Location groups are a manually constructed set of locations that you can use for targeting purposes.

Affiliate Location Chains and Subsets

In some cases, you may not have your own location. Your product might be sold in chain stores or other locations. In these cases you may use affiliate locations instead. When you opt to use these locations, you’ll click on Affiliate Locations and then Select Chain. Find and pick the country and the location chain you’d like to use. You can use just a subset of your chains or all locations.

Best Practices and Optimizations

Local Campaigns use machine learning, so you’ll want to optimize it slowly. Plan to run your campaign for at least 30 days to get the most out of the algorithm. It would help if you also generated plenty of ad copy and images/videos for the campaign so that Google has more combinations to form the best performing ads. 

There are plenty of other great ways to make your ads more successful. So, if you’re curious about making the most of this type of campaign or best practices check out Google’s Guide to Local Campaign Best Practices.

The Benefits of Local Campaigns

Not convinced Local Campaigns are right for you? If you have multiple storefronts and use Google Ads, you probably want to show up in places your customers visit most – like YouTube. The campaigns also give you plenty of availability on Maps, which is great when someone is searching for a business like yours. What’s even better is you appear in all of these places just by using one campaign. The low maintenance and high visibility make these a no-brainer if you need more foot traffic.

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Shire Lyon

Shire Lyon

Shire is a Paid Search strategist with expertise in Google and Bing Ads. She is a passionate marketer with a wide breadth of knowledge in the digital marketing space. She truly enjoys working with businesses to grow and succeed. Though she loves working with businesses of all sizes, she does have a special place in her heart for small businesses and entrepreneurs who truly understand what it takes to put their name on the map. When she's not working, she loves to travel, garden, and spend quality time exploring nature with her family.
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