Google’s at it again! The search engine giant announced major changes to its biggest products last week at the Google Performance Summit. New features for AdWords, Analytics, Google Maps and local search will debut over the next few months. The changes will help small business owners better target their digital marketing to local customers and smartphone users.
Mobile devices have erased the “dividing line between the digital world and the physical world,” said Jerry Dischler, Google’s vice president of product management, during the summit keynote address. Location-related mobile searches have grown 50% faster than desktop searches in the past year, he said. Google’s changes will further erase the boundaries between online and brick-and-mortar customer interactions, Dischler promised.
The updates are designed to help businesses connect mobile customers with just the right information at just the right time. Here’s how Google’s mobile-first innovations will help you:
- Convert “near me” searches into sales. As of 2015, more searches were conducted on smartphones or tablets than desktop computers, said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president for ads and commerce. All those “near me” searches are great news for local businesses: On average, 75% of local mobile searches result in a store visit within the same day and 28% of those visits result in a purchase.
- Build stronger AdWords campaigns. The biggest updates since AdWords’ introduction will be available to users on a wide scale later this year. The AdWords changes will give you:
- Keyword bidding based on the device your customers use the most to search for your products or services. This will save you money and make your mobile-first SEM ads more effective.
- More ad text. Google ads will gain 50% more ad text to better highlight your products and services for mobile users. Google reports that advertisers involved in early product tests have experienced a 20% increase in their click-through rates thanks to this change.
- Mark your place on Google Maps. To help companies reach mobile customers at the moment they are searching for nearby businesses, Google is testing a promoted pin option that would allow businesses to pay to appear in Google Maps. Businesses will also be able to add searchable local inventory information to their business pages. Companies can use this bridge between the real world and the digital world—and increase foot traffic to stores—by providing useful local information when people are looking to buy.
Google plans to debut a number of technical updates to AdWords, Analytics and local search as the year progresses. Stay tuned to Manta for more insights into how you can use these Google changes to win more customers.