Google Maps Advertising: What you need to know

Having your business show up on Google Maps is a must for any brick and mortar business, while consumers used to use an Atlas and Yellow Pages to find businesses in their community, nowadays most simply type in an industry and location and are thusly directed by their smartphone to their desired location.

However, the functionality often extends beyond simple location data and can include specific details on your business, such as opening hours, customer ratings and links to your website.

Below you can find a simple guide on how to implement, refine and succeed advertising your business on Google Maps…

How to get ads on Google Maps

Getting your business visible on Google Maps in simple, in fact there is a good chance that it is already listed without even your knowledge! However, simply being listed is no guarantee of success, as without further details your prospective customers will be hesitant to invest further time into checking out your offering.

Thankfully, it is simple to add further details to your business listing, start off by claiming your business as your own (simply follow the provided steps). From here you can add various details about your business including:

  • Business name
  • Category
  • Address
  • Service area
  • Hours
  • Phone
  • Website
  • Attributes
  • Photos
  • From the business
  • Opening date
  • Menu/Services (limited availability)
  • Check-in and check-out times (hotels only)
  • Hotel information (hotels only)

The more of these fields that are filled out, the more inclined a prospective customer will be invest their time to research your offering. Yet often just having details listed wont be enough, as there may be dozens of competitors listed and it is unlikely that a typical customer will bother looking beyond the first few, meaning that if you’re not in or near the top spot then you might as well be invisible to those consumers. This is where smart targeting and clever use of keywords can give you an edge over other competitors in the field.

For example, ‘Nathan’ has a landscaping business along with a website and he has filled out details about his business on Google, yet despite all this he finds that his landscaping business ranks far lower than that of his competitors. In order to address this, Nathan hires a specialist to set up adverts that will show to the relevant customers, thus further promoting his business. For a small fee per customer (commonly referred to as Cost per Click [CPC]), Nathan’s business was posted at the top of searches relating to landscaping search enquiries, with said fee only being paid when a prospective customer clicked the link to his website. As a result, Nathan found the number of visits his website increased drastically, with many of those visitors ultimately choosing Nathan’s landscaping business over other competitors in the field. The sunk cost of the advert was more then paid back in increased revenue from the new business.

In practical terms, it is relatively simple to set up an advert for business that will work through Google Maps (provided that location data has been enabled), although how successful said advert will be in attracting customers can vary wildly depending on implementation. When setting up an advert on Google Maps, one need to be conscious of the following…

  • How far reaching do I want the advert?
    • The advert need only be displayed to those who feasibly can make the trip to your business. Why spend money advertising to those who can never feasibly be a customer?
  • What are consumers search terms?
    • Not everyone will type the exact same query to find a business, managing to focus your success on certain keywords should bring costs and success rates in a positive direction
  • Does the CPC [Cost per Click] represent good value?
    • While it may be tempting to adopt ‘sledgehammer’ approach and outbid your rivals on relevant keywords, it can easily lead to exhausting budgets with little gain in business. Some keywords can cost upwards of $40 per click!

With so many variables, it can be a daunting task to set up a successful adwords campaign on Google Maps, with many inexperienced users paying hundreds of dollars for questionable leads. As such, it is recommended that one does the necessary research into making smart, cost-effective decisions on Keywords, or alternately hire an expert firm such as Matterplus to implement effective keywords.