Integrating Google Local Business Listings With PPC

There’s no question that pay-per-click advertising can do great things for local businesses. With smart, region-specific keywords and text ads and the ability to geotarget specific areas for ad distribution, local businesses can create a low-expense, high-result campaign by cherry-picking exactly the kinds of customers they want to target. Until recently, the only additional boost you got from putting in all of this hyper-local work was a simple extra line of ad text that displayed your city or state. But now Google has kicked it up a notch and added new functionality that allows local advertisers even more of an advantage. By linking your local business account to your AdWords account, you can activate location extensions in your ads. These extensions display your business address in your ads, giving you more ad real estate (for free) and showing your local customers exactly where to find you.

Before you take advantage of Google’s integration of local business listings into PPC accounts, you should create a local business listings account. Fortunately, this is pretty easy, and comes with the added benefit of giving you free listings on Google Maps. Every local business should do this, if only for the SEO benefit that it provides. It’s simple to start an account – just go to http://www.google.com/local/add/, click on “Add A New Business,” and follow the instructions. If you have multiple locations, you can even upload a data file to save you some repetitive data entry work.

Once you have a local business listing account, you’ll be ready to link it to your AdWords account and activate location extensions in your ads. Just follow these steps to get going:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Go to the campaign you want to edit.
  3. Click on the “Settings” tab.
  4. Under “Audience > Locations” you’ll see an option to “Show relevant addresses with your ads.” Select this, and you’ll be prompted to enter your local business center account name and password or manually enter an address. Linking the campaign to your local business center account will save you a lot of work in the long run, but if you’re only going to use this for a few ads you can just manually enter the addresses.
  5. Click save, and you’re done!

Google has even added functionality to their reporting so that you can view statistics on your location extensions. When you run an ad group report, look for these options under “Add or Remove Columns:”

Location Extensions Reporting Options

Location Extensions Reporting Options

Now, you can not only provide location-specific information to your text ads, but you can also get statistics on how your users are interacting with this information. Neat!

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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