Google Maps Traffic To Stores Increases

11th January 2018

The rise of Google Maps underlines the importance of local SEO and PPC for retail businesses. In the run-up to Christmas, the map service provided on mobile phones and desktops was used by an unprecedented number of shoppers who were looking to find products in local stores or were using the stores to pick up online reservations.

Search Engine Land research revealed that perhaps unsurprisingly, own brand ads picked up most of the maps traffic in the early part of December, however as Christmas Eve approached more generic terms began to pick up more clicks to Google Maps.

This perhaps ties in with traditional consumer behaviour, that suggests that last minute purchases are typically made with less research than earlier purchasers.
The research also revealed that some brick-and-mortar advertisers saw as high as 20 percent of all brand phone traffic come from “Get location details” on Christmas Eve.

Google Monetises Maps

Google is monetising this traffic via location extensions, and advertisers’ ads are automatically opted into showing in Maps for any keyword campaigns which have active location extensions. Google’s efforts to monetize Maps traffic is clearly starting to shift the makeup of traffic for brick-and-mortar brands, especially on key in-store shopping days like Christmas Eve.

Location maps requests were also producing CPC costs 30 percent higher on phone and 83 percent higher on tablet and similar devices. There is currently no way for advertisers to adjust bids for Google Maps traffic.

However, in some countries, advertisers have access to anonymised store visit statistics that can be used to justify the higher CPC cost to your advertising budget controllers. However, this is currently limited to those who have multiple verified locations and a large number of clicks. They also need to have a large number of clicks to ensure that the company has had sufficient visits to the site to ensure that visits can be anonymised