Google (and its parent company, Alphabet) are in the news practically every day for all sorts of innovations like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence powered chat bots. But Google’s goose that lays its golden eggs is the quality of its search engine to find what we want when we want it. And more often, people are using their smartphones for searches. And those searches involve location-based information. That means, for many small businesses, advertising on Google that is specifically aimed to be a part of what they describe as “micro-moments” (when people pull out their phones to get a questioned answered) is a critical element of their advertising.

When Google speaks, even when they are promoting themselves, it’s worth paying attention if what they are saying is directed at small, local merchants. And here’s what they’re saying today.:

1 | Every year, there are trillions of searches on Google and more than half of those searches happen on mobile.

More searches happen on mobile than on desktop computers, which is no surprise when we think about our own behavior as consumers. Throughout the day, whenever we want to buy, learn or go, we turn to our phones first.

2 | Mobile is local.

Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location, and that number is growing. Whether they’re researching pizza delivery on Friday night or trying to find an orthodontist near their preteen’s middle school, consumers are using their mobile devices to direct their actions in the local world. Thirty-two percent of consumers say that location-based search ads have led them to visit a store or make a purchase1. For small businesses serving customers in their area, mobile ads can offer a vital opportunity to connect with customers.

3 | New local search ads help businesses bring customers right to their door.

Businesses using location extensions in AdWords can prominently display their business location when consumers search for things like “dentists” or “car repair shops near me” while on-the-go. Google is also testing new local ad formats that make it easier for users to find businesses as they navigate on Google Maps. Consumers may start seeing experiments like promoted pins that allow businesses to strengthen their brand presence in maps.

4. AdWords is moving aggressively into a mobile-first world.

Here are things to look for in the near future:

New expanded text ads in AdWords providing extra ad space to showcase more information about your products and services before the click. The key changes include more prominent headlines and a longer description line in your text ad.

Responsive ads for display that will adapt to diverse content, shapes and sizes of the more than two million publisher sites and apps on the Google Display Network. Merchants will be able to provide headlines, a description, an image, and a URL, and AdWords will create the ads that work on any device and site.

(via: Google)

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