Looking at the way locally focused ads performed last year with brick and mortar brands, they are on track to play a major role in 2017 at driving offline traffic.
Content marketing and advertising with a geographic focus has always been high performance, especially when it comes to Google. Many consumers search queries attached with a city name attached and search engines filter content accordingly.
LIAs are Important
Local Inventory Ads, a variety of Google’s Product Listing Ads, were found last year to be highly effective at attracting last-minute shoppers to brick and mortar stores. Though they work year-round, leading up to Christmas, local ad traffic tends to pick up even more. We guess that this is either because searchers are more likely to use local queries to find items as Christmas approaches, because Google may be more inclined to show LIAs throughout the holiday season, and/or because advertisers are getting more aggressive with their bids on LIAs relative to Product Listing Ads.
Google Map Traffic increases Throughout the Holidays
Analyzing data from last year, it is also evident how Google Maps traffic increases. This makes sense as last-minute shoppers are seeking navigation towards the appropriate brick and mortar locations. Having your name appear here can be key to garnering more looks from persons looking for gifts. Unlike LIAs, there’s no way to bid specifically on Google Maps. That said, any brand with location extensions added to campaigns are automatically opted into showing ads on Maps for relevant searches.
The Power of last year’s Numbers on this year’s Brick and Mortar Performance
Trends throughout last year’s holiday season demonstrate rhythms likely to repeat in 2017. Brands with brick and mortar locations should engage local ad units, taking advantage of their increasing prominence as Christmas Day is on its way.
LIAs are important in producing store-specific feeds and ensuring that campaigns are running ahead of the holiday season. Also, Google Maps is an important trend for advertisers to take advantage of. With regards to Maps, ensure that AdWords paid search campaigns have active location extensions deployed.
It is important to note that both of these ad units carry significantly lower online conversation rates. Just think about it. Arguably, the majority of users are going to be clicking on these ads in this time period simply to browse or for more in-depth product information prior to making a physical visit. Therefore, tracking offline transactions with relation to online ad clicks is critical in understanding the full value produced. Don’t be discouraged if conversions are not quite what you expect when these approaches are used. These campaigns will not be able to tell you the full story of their success or failure until you have the opportunity to examine offline figures as well.
As you build up your content, marketing, and advertising campaigns for the holiday season, as a brick and mortar location, look to capitalize on searches with a local intent and local SEO. Always include the city name as it has been shown to deliver sizeable shares of traffic.