One-Third of Searches Are Related to Location
Recently we posted about the Google Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote, and Google’s switch in focus to micro-moments in a mobile-first world. Today we’re looking at some other changes that are going to be filtering through to the Google Ads network, as recently discussed by both Sridar Ramaswamy, Jerry Dischler and Brad Bender of at Google I/O.
Initial changes will revolve around bid flexibility and adjustments based on device. As an advertiser you will have greater control over where you put your advertising dollars and how you choose to drive conversions. Consumer-facing businesses may find more conversions come from mobile, while others find searchers converting via their desktop or laptop. AdWords will soon allow you to control individual bid adjustments for each device, meaning you can further optimize your ad budget.
Looking Into Local Search Behavior
Google noticed that one-third of all searches are related to location. Consider these emerging search trends:
- Location-focused searches are growing 50% faster than all other types of searches.
- There are over 1 billion users of Google maps.
- 90% of purchases made initiate from online searches.
- Two-thirds of local mobile searches resulted in that person visiting the store within a day, with 28% of those visits resulting in a purchase.
The data points to a definitive and growing link between online and offline shopping habits. Local businesses need to reshape their advertising dollars accordingly.
Google VP of Search Ads Jerry Dischler used a simple example of a furniture shop to illustrate the point further. When someone is interested in buying new furniture they often want to touch it, or at least see it, in real life before they make a purchase. So to take advantage of this, a furniture business should optimize local inventory ads, which offer a kind of virtual storefront. By listing what is in stock at any given time. This lets people who are locally searching know if they should pop into your store to see what you’ve got. Making the shopping experience easier for the customer, and driving people to your store who are interested in what you have in stock.
Cloning Your Customers
Following on from the discoveries in local search behavior, Google is making changes to the ad experience revolving around targeting options. AdWords remarketing is an excellent way to target customers who have visited your site before, specifically showing relevant ads.
These highly targeted ads aid in brand awareness and can drive conversions. Searchers are reminded of your products or service, lending a kind of serendipity ‘I was just thinking about that’ moment.
Programmatic buying (using data to decide where to put your ads) is a growing trend. Building out from the concept of remarketing, Google is developing a way to find searchers who act/look like your best potential buyers called the Similar Audiences Tool. It allows you to find lookalikes of your current customers, with new levels of detail. Meaning you can build a kind of reverse-buyer personas to show your adverts to… all based on the data you have gathered in your AdWords account already.
As well as changes to AdWords, Google is also revamping Analytics, moving towards a more dashboard focused design to help users unearth deeper insights on what is performing and what needs attention. Overview pages will become the new homepage, and workflows are being made more intuitive. Google is building it now through 2017; lucky testers will be invited soon.
While none of the changes we’ve mentioned here seem revolutionary, they do show that Google is evolving their platforms to remain relevant in a marketplace with growing competition. Do you think AdWords and Analytics need major changes? What’s the one thing you would like to fix in either platform? Have you noticed any interesting local search behavior from your customers?
How can we help?
Does your business benefit from local searches? Do you think that local search behavior has changed in your customers?
We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.