Google continues to lead the way in effectively connecting users to helpful information. During a livestream event from their May Performance Summit, Google announced some fantastic updates that will roll out sometime this year or during 2017. Announcements like these can sometimes seem a bit anticlimactic.  What do these updates really mean?  How do they affect users, marketers, and businesses practically?   Enter Larry Kim.
Larry Kim Founder of WordStream

Larry Kim
Founder – WordStream

If you aren’t familiar with Larry, check out his bio.  He’s one of the leading authorities on paid search advertising. If he communicates about anything PPC, no ANYTHING, people should sit up and take notice. Larry hosted a follow-up webinar on Wednesday that actually reached maximum capacity (WHAT?!) and wasn’t able to host everyone interested.  But a second viewing was made readily available, and he’s even written on the topics presented in the webinar. Here’s a link to one of his articles if you want the details: 5 BIG Changes Coming to AdWords After viewing Larry’s webinar and reading the article, I think these key updates have the greatest potential impact:

Search Ads Showing in Google Maps

Due to the number of searches done consistently in the Maps app for products & services, ads traditionally seen in the SERPs will be served to help users find what they need.  Google reports that nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are location-related, which utilize the Google Maps app. Since so much of search is now happening via mobile devices, utilizing this platform for more advertising just makes sense.

Tracking of Map/Location Searches & In-Store Visits

Since the devices used for search don’t stay home when users go out & about, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to track searches that result in someone visiting a store or businesses’ location?  Done.  Google has tracked over a billion of these the last couple of years.  This ability will be a trackable conversion in AdWords as the updates are rolled out.  

Google Maps now has more than a billion users.

 

People visit 1.5 billion destinations based on their Google searches.

 

Location-related searches account for nearly one third of all mobile searches.

 

Location-related searches and have grown 50 percent faster than overall mobile searches in the past year.

  Pretty amazing stuff!  But back to the questions at hand: What do these really mean?  How do they affect digital marketing and business? As Larry unpacked the practical impacts of these updates, here are the benefits I see for users, marketers, and businesses:

Extension of the Paid Search Platform for Businesses

Paid search advertising has revolutionized the potential for businesses to be successful. Whether you’re a small, regionally-based business or a worldwide corporation, search advertising enables businesses to offer their products and services to consumers like never before.  So, any extension of that platform only creates greater potential for businesses to reach more customers. And, with the ability to track searches to actual physical visits to stores, there’s even greater visibility into whether marketing dollars are being effectively spent. Granted, this is only if businesses are part of the digital marketing world…

A Greater Opportunity for Marketers

Since marketers’ success in business is tied to their clients’ businesses being successful, the ability to advertise for their clients in an extended platform (ads via Google Maps) and track digital inquiries (searches) to real-time actions (in-store visits), these updates are worthy of our best cartwheel attempts.  Maybe I’m a little biased, okay…very biased.  The ability to market and track results like this is what makes working in our digital age so fantastic & enjoyable.

Google makes more $$$

You might think I’m slightly off my rocker for saying that Google making even more money is a benefit, but hear me out.  Google is in fact a business, so one of their main goals is to make money, probably.  So, if Google continues to invest their profit into improving their products, those improvements are extended to the wider business world, and businesses overall benefit from them, therefore Google making more money is beneficial. This is what I see happening in these updates, and this cycle will likely continue as Google grows & expands. If you currently have a digital marketing strategy, I’d encourage you to keep up to speed on the release of these updates and plan out how you can implement them to grow your business. If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, or have been trying and are struggling to find success, I’d love to help.  My team is THE BEST around, and we’d love to help you grow!