With the holidays around the corner and shopping season nearly here, Google’s focus on local search in recent years has some experts forecasting local search traffic playing a big role in brick-and-mortar retailers this season. Google is now loading up on a few new features and reporting capabilities.
These updates include ways for in-person retailers to drive and measure more store visits from Google properties. Let’s look at some of these updates, and how they affect internet marketing efforts.
As voice searching is becoming more and more popular, Google is tying local inventory data into results that Google Assistant provides. When users ask their phones or any Google device about buying a specific product nearby, Google will show a list of local inventory results on their phones. Retailers do need to upload their local inventory feeds to Google Merchant Center to be eligible here.
Earlier in 2017, Google added location extensions to display ads. Now they’re going even further, adding a local inventory display ad format that features both promotions and local products from inventory feeds. This pilot is open to all advertisers that set up display campaigns and upload their assets.
Google has now measured over 7 billion store visits around the globe, and is adding reporting for impression-based store visits as well. This ability to measure visits without a needed at click is a vital development. Google is also introducing a time lag report, a demographic report and a new versus returning customer report.
In mobile Shopping results, users will soon have access to filtering options for criteria like sizing, pricing and others. Listings will also be bigger. Google also rolled out new support for Showcase Ads as well as a new AdWords interface, and these early tests have shown Showcase Ads to drive an increase in brand searches and click-assisted conversions compared to standard shopping ads.
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