June 2, 2016

Changes to Google Canadian Retailers Can Expect

With the rise of importance in local online marketing and Local SEO, Google has integrated various paid local SEM tools to help professionals market their products to local customers.  In a nutshell, Local SEO is the implementation of local search strategies for a business to rank higher on the Google search network and Google map pack. If you want learn more about Local SEO, check out our blog on why local SEO is important.  
To complement local organic ranking efforts, there are many paid initiatives to support local search engine marketing strategies. Most recently, Google announced 4 tools of interests for retailers:

Promotion of Store Pickup in Local Inventory Ads (LIA)

Local Inventory Ads (LIA)  display the inventory of local businesses for online shoppers. Not only do retailers have the ability to provide their most up-to-date inventory, but it also provides a streamlined and effortless channel for buyers to make a purchase. With the recent integration of promoted store pick up, shoppers can now check the inventory of a product, make a purchase online and pick it up in store.

Inventory search from Local Knowledge Panel

Marketers can also add a feature to “search items at this store” in the businesses local knowledge panel for Local Inventory Ads. Essentially, this function lets buyers see whether a particular product is in stock at their local store.

Ads in Local Finder Results

Google recently made changes to the local search network and Google maps to include prompted location listings. This change has opened up a new playing field for retailers who aren’t featured in the local three-pack. With promoted location ads, retailers now have a new way of getting to the top of results!

Promoted Pins in Google Maps

Recently at the Google Performance Summit on May 25th, Google announced the use of branded “promoted pins” or locations. These changes will provide a  branded, yet functional experience for users. On top of that, local Google pages will have a fresh look and include new customizations such as various content types, local product inventory, promotions and additional information.

Cool Fact: Google found that mobile search ad resulted in more in-store visits than online conversions.

Unfortunately, some of these tools are not available for Canadian retailers as of yet. Either way, local marketing has become one of the most dynamic and ever-changing industries, especially in our mobile-first world. And it’s exciting to have new ways to reach out to our audience!

Interested in learning more about Google’s recent announcements at the 2016 Google Performance Summit? Check out our coverage of the event.  

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