This week we are discussing a myriad tactics to enhance your local geo-targeted PPC efforts. One of the core strategies you can employ to be found in your neighborhood to appear on Google Maps. If your business is geared toward a local audience, you need to gain as much exposure on Google Maps as possible!

List Your Business in Google Maps

First, let’s step outside the realm of PPC for a moment. Since more people are using search to find local goods and services, you need to have a robust business listing. Google recently the new Local Business Center which helps businesses expand their business listings. You should certainly take advantage of this service.

So, what’s the initial step to getting your business listed on Google Maps? All you have to is go to Google Maps and click, “Put Your Business on Google Maps.” As seen in this screen shot:


From here, you’ll need to create a Google Account (if you don’t have one). And you’ll receive a series of instructions on how to claim your business listing and how to make it more robust and noticeable in order to drive more traffic to your site and visitors to your business.

Google AdWords Local Business Ads

Getting your business listed in Google Maps is a very important part of advertising your local business.  However, that listing doesn’t reach as many searchers and internet users as one might think.  To broaden your advertising reach, Google created Local Business Ads.  These ads are separate from your traditional campaign-level geo-targeting in AdWords.  The clear distinction between the 2?  Traditional geo-targeting doesn’t require that you have a street address in the area you’re targeting.  Local Business Ads do – the whole point is to use PPC ads to drive customers to your physical location.

The reason we put listing your business in Google Maps together with Local Business Ads is an important one!  In order to run Local Business Ads, you must first create a business listing on Google Maps.  After that step, you can create your local ad within AdWords.  The basic ad structure is identical to normal PPC ads, however, your street address can be added as a 5th line for increased relevancy.

Local Business Ads increase your advertising reach for getting customers to your physical location.  That being said, where exactly are these ads displayed?  Google displays Local Business Ads on Google Maps, Google Earth (pretty cool, huh?) and on the Google Network.  When these ads are displayed on Google Maps, the user’s IP address isn’t considered – only the search query (which for Maps queries, includes a location).  Anywhere else – i.e. the Google Network – the ads will be targeted via the user’s IP address.

So, using traditional geo-targeting is a must for anyone looking to advertise to a location specific audience.  However, if you’re looking to drive foot-traffic to your brick and mortar business, taking the next step with a Google Maps listing and utilizing AdWords’ Local Business Ads is a must!