Business

Google Mobile Search Ads Can Expand Your Local Reach

gle Mobile Search Ads Can Expand Your Local Reach
For small businesses, Google's new mobile search advertising features can increase the ROI of your ads by targeting local customers. To get started with mobile search engine ads, optimizing your company website for smartphones is the first step. Using your paid search dollars to bring in those clients is next, and Google is making it much easier for small businesses.

Surojit Chatterjee, Google's senior product manager for Mobile Ads, describes the changes in a blog post.

Would you like your business ad to appear when an Android user searches your local industry from their Yelp mobile app? That can happen now. Custom Search Ads, just announced this week, will allow businesses to advertise when someone searches from within an app. We'll keep an eye on this feature and give you a more detailed how-to as it is rolled out.

If your business is closer than a competitor across town to the location of someone searching your market from their smartphone, this makes it more likely that you will rank above them in their mobile search. This is a feature both companies and searchers can appreciate.

A year ago, Google introduced hyperlocal search ads with features like phone numbers that you could click to call from a mobile ad. Here's a Google case study of a restaurant that saw a 40 percent increase in call volume after using this feature.

Virtual Circular Ads

Circulars have been cluttering up our mailboxes with dead trees for years. People toss them straight into their recycling bins if there are no coupons. The problem with doing away with circulars completely is that budget-conscious consumers still use these weekly pages to make their purchase decisions. Enter Google's new circulars.

Google started piloting its virtual circulars with Best Buy and Macy's in early October. When a user clicks on a display or search ad from either company, they're taken to a special Web page that shows related products and offers. This means that you don't have to flip through an entire site to get to the product you're looking for, and companies can offer micro-targeted deals to users who click on their display ads. No word yet on when these may come for other businesses.

How to Get on Google Mobile Search

The good news is that if you are already on Google AdWords, you don't have to do anything except enable the Google Mobile ad features that you want to purchase. Any small, local business should enable the "Click to Call" feature, and Google offers detailed instructions for doing just that. Small and midsize businesses can also find options available with Ads With Offers, which allow you to make micro-targeted offers to search users.

The best news about all of these features, except maybe the circulars, is that they aren't budget-breakers. Click-to-Call can result in direct ROI from customer contact, paying for itself. As smartphones get cheaper and make their way into the hands of more shoppers, optimizing your search campaigns for mobile platforms is a must.

Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She's written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at _@angelawest. _

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