Google Location Extensions Evolve
On Friday, Google announced that their location extensions were given a makeover. Location extensions, which allow advertisers to enhance their paid listings by either manually or automatically including their location information, used to be limited to one location per ad. Now, if you have a Google Places account linked to your AdWords campaign up to four of the business locations closest to the searcher can be displayed.
This new feature can have some great benefits for brands with multiple locations.
1) For brand terms location extensions allow the customer to pick the closest location to them. It also adds real estate to any brand term search
2) For non-brand terms location extensions allow a brand to gain additional coverage on the SERP. This is especially helpful for locations that may not be in the 3 or 7 pack of the map listing results
3) Improved campaign click through rate. This is from an informal survey of my campaigns that have location extensions implemented but the ads that show with location extensions tend to have a CTR that ranges from .8 to 2% higher than ads that don’t show with location extensions in the same campaign.
Although this makeover is a step in the right direction, there are some situations where implementing the new set-up may not be right for an advertiser.
1) The new extensions only allows for four locations to be visible so groups of stores larger than four that are advertising together may not want to take advantage of this feature because it may result in uneven exposure of the stores.
2) You need to have a Google Places account hooked up to your campaign to take advantage of this feature. If you don’t have access to the Google Places account or you don’t want to hook it up because you don’t want up to four locations to show, this feature is not available to you.