top of page

The power of Google Ads for Local Businesses

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

Using google ads for local business

You know that local searches drive sales and that 80% of local searches result in a conversion. So why not use Google Ads for local business campaigns so you can see a return on your advertising investment?


Driving local sales and leads with Google Ads is about a lot more than geolocation targeting. Let's dive in a little deeper on the overview of these ads!

When advertisers of local businesses head to Google Ads, they tend to repeat the same campaign process over and over: Geolocation targeting in a radius to where their customers might be.

But there are a ton of different tactics that cater to the local patron including local extensions, remarketing, and more. Use Local-Friendly Ad Extensions

Ad extensions is the Shark bait for improving your Google Ads strategy for local search. Wow, that sounded extremely lame. But it’s true, ad extensions are fantastic.

If you aren’t using ad extensions, you definitely should be.

The main benefits include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Increased click-through rates.

  • Give more information/context without taking up character limits on your actual ad copy.

  • Make it easier for local customers to call with one click

Using ad extensions is a no-brainer. You get extra room to compel someone to click your ad on the search network. And it doesn’t cost anything to do. With ad extensions, the biggest mistake people make is loading up on them without cause. You need a reason to use them. Simply using ad extensions isn’t going to generate big wins. Using them strategically will.

But what extensions do you use for local ads?

Here are 4 key extensions to add to a local-specific campaign.

Let’s start with two of the basics before diving into more advanced extensions.

Google Ads for Local Business Extension #1: Location

If you are running local ads, you need location extensions.

While this seems obvious, it’s really not. If you Google local-driven searches for local businesses, you will see a staggering amount of ads running without a whiff of location extensions:

google ads location for local businesses

These are the top three ads for a local search on plumbers.

Shocking stuff, right?

This is great news for you: You have the opportunity to stand out with just minutes of work.

The latest data shows that 76% of users who searched for a nearby good/service visited that local business in a day. 28% of those visitors made a purchase, too.

Local searches for location targeting are increasing by 130% each year.

Be sure to use location extensions on your local ads. You can add them directly from the extensions tab in your Google Ads dashboard:

When users click on your location on an ad, they will be directed into Google Maps for easy navigation:

Google maps ads

Boom. Now that’s how you drive local visits.

Google Ads for Local Business Extension #2: Phone Call

Google data shows that local searches are heavily dominated by mobile devices.

And it makes sense: people are likely out and about, looking for something to do, or looking for a store location.

And a common practice is calling that business for more information. If you have staff that can always answer incoming calls, setting up phone extensions is an easy way to generate more traffic.

Google ad phone number placement

Again, you would be shocked at how many ads don’t feature this basic extension.

Alright, are you ready for a few more advanced options? Let’s take a look.

Google Ads for Local Business Extension #3: Affiliate Location

Affiliate location extensions are just what they sound like: Extensions on your search ads featuring affiliates that carry your products.

Do you sell products to big retail shops or boutique stores? Do other brick and mortar stores that aren’t yours sell your products?

For instance, are your products located in Walmart?

Then affiliate location extensions can drive big wins for your business with cheap clicks.

Google ads for multiple locations

Sometimes, people don’t want to wait for shipping and delivery on your online store. The “need it now” culture is thriving (see: Amazon Now, Postmates, etc.).

Even if you don’t have a brick and mortar store, you can drive local sales to your products in stores to ensure that your retailers keep ordering from you.

Note: According to Google, these are only available for retail chains and auto dealers in select countries.

Google Ads for Local Business Extension #4: Dynamic Sitelinks

Dynamic sitelinks are the cream of the crop. Essentially, Google puts some AI to work to choose site extensions for your ads based on searcher intent and previous search + site visit history. They are designed to connect searchers to the content they are actually looking for, in real-time.

Here is an example:

Google Ad placements

The dynamic sitelink is shown as:

“Schedule a Test Drive at Joe’s Used Cars”

This sitelink is conversion-focused, something that dynamic sitelinks center around.

By linking deep into your site, sitelinks take contextual relevance to drive users into sales pages faster.