In a move to help brick-and-mortar businesses find new ways to reach their audience in a pandemic-influenced market, Google has made several changes to its advertising platform, including a change to its Search Term Report. Now, Google is shifting its efforts to drive more offline sales, helping businesses with a brick-and-mortar store gain sales.
These efforts are based on insights Google has collected about the changing mindsets of consumers. Their research shows that two-thirds of consumers are planning to make a conscious effort to shop at more local, small businesses. This is supported by Google reporting a 100% increase in “available near me” searches this year.
Previously, advertisers on Google could only optimize local campaigns for in-person store traffic. Although this is the goal, these conversions are not always accurately measured. With the recent changes, you can now track calls and direction clicks as conversions, helping to better measure the performance and optimize for store traffic more effectively than ever before.
With the increase in “available near me” searches on Google this year, adding in service attributes was a must. Service attributes allow businesses to show consumers valuable information about the circumstances they should expect to find and interact with while shopping there. For example, restaurants can clearly show if they offer “dine-in” or “takeout,” while retailers can communicate if they’re allowing “in-store shopping” or offering “curbside pickup.” This is especially important during the pandemic as consumers turn to search in order to check which local businesses are open, and what the businesses are doing to mitigate the risk of infection in their facility.
Google’s new features open up new opportunities for local businesses and brick-and-mortar stores to drive additional sales — during and after the pandemic. If your business has any physical locations, be sure to utilize the new conversion tracking to optimize your campaigns, and add clear service attributes so your customers know what to expect when they show up to make a purchase.