The Next Generation of Local Search Ads

Picture this; you are halfway through your drive down south, and using Google Maps to stay on track. Your attention to the road is dwindling and you need something to keep you alert. Just when you need it, a purple marker pops up on your device showing you that the upcoming McDonald’s is offering McFlurry’s for half price, half price! McDonald’s is on the route you are already travelling, how could you not stop?


This is the new Promoted Pins ad experience Google is testing on its Maps app, which is aimed at helping business to entice you into their premises whether that’s a coffee shop, petrol station, supermarket or retail store. Google is also working to roll out other local search features, for example allowing advertisers to list special offers alongside the pin for their business. They can list the types of inventory that they have available, so that before you even step into the IGA you can see whether they stock that homemade, gluten free, vegan, soy-free protein bar that you’re craving. Users can also expect to see more Promoted Pins when searches such as ‘cafes near me’ are made.


Local Search Ads



While Google has been using Maps as a platform for advertising since 2010, this is the company’s biggest attempt at capturing the increasing amount of users who make specific searches, as opposed to the main search platform, with Google saying that local searches on mobile devices are growing 50% faster than overall mobile searches. Down the line the Promoted Pin ads will also provide online to offline metrics to advertisers and marketers, which will capture when ads are responsible for driving foot traffic into stores – something that is currently difficult to measure.


One of the main things Google is working on is making sure that the ads are as relevant and unobtrusive to Maps users as possible. We have all experienced the frustration of our screen being cluttered with unnecessary ads, and from the advertisers point of view it is going to be difficult to convince them that Promoted Pins are worthwhile for their business if they can’t stand out from the dozen or more pins located in their area. There are also safety considerations that need to be made, particularly while driving, so for now Promoted Pins will not be advertised through audio when a user is listening to voice directions on Maps.


To learn more about how Google can benefit your business, contact the team at Bang Digital here or give us a call on (08) 9328 7000.