New Local Focus For Google Search

Nancy Lambert


The last few months have seen several different search engines taking an increased interest in local search. The emphasis is shifting after years spent focusing on global reach, with companies increasingly recognizing the potential of marketing based around geographical convenience. Now Google has introduced new features for its product listing ads (PLAs) that enable much more locally-focused marketing.

Where business customers are using the new, updated PLAs, they will be offered the option of using local storefronts. This means that when Google is aware of a user’s location it will direct them to a page for their local store. This page can include a great deal of useful information, starting with the address of the store and directions for getting to it. Opening hours can be listed alongside a click-to-call button and a link to the company’s main website for buying online.

Perhaps most importantly, local storefronts can list local stock availability. This means that when a user searches for a product and turns up a particular business, the user can also find out if the product is available locally and has the option of immediately arranging to buy it. It will take time to see how this maps onto real world conversions, but all the signs are good. The system should be especially useful in relation to large items where delivery over a distance is expensive, or smaller items that are needed in a rush and where the customer might prefer to collect or buy in store rather than waiting for delivery.

In addition to displaying the items available in different local stores, businesses will have the option of setting things up so that users can browse similar items. This will make it easier for them to find items that suit their needs and budgets.

PLAs and local storefronts are designed to display differently on desktop and mobile devices, so all businesses have to do is make sure that all the correct fields are filled in; of course, it will also be important to keep stock lists up to date in order to avoid disappointing potential customers or missing out on others.

At present the new features are only available to a selected group of American businesses, but Google’s plan is that they will be extended to others in waves over the next few months. To find out more about how to use adverts such as these and how to improve your local search results more generally, call Xcellimark at 888-318-3950 ext 211 to speak with an internet marketing consultant today.

Topics: Local Search