Over the past month I’ve been posting tips to improve your local search engine rankings (aka local SEO or Google+ Local).  In case you haven’t been following along, then these 3 articles will bring you up to speed: Location is Not Enough for Local SEO,  How to Spoonfeed Google Your Correct Business Information, and Is Phone Call Tracking Hurting Your Local Search Rankings?

And if you want a complete step-by-step guide to local SEO, then register for today’s live training.

OK, that’s enough about local SEO…

Today I want to switch gears and talk about advertising.  More specifically, I want to talk about how you can use your Google+ Local profile to improve your Google AdWords campaign performance.  No, that wasn’t a typo.  Not only can you use Google+ Local to get your business ranked on the first page of Google organically, but you can also use it to improve the overall performance of your search ad campaigns.

Here’s how…

Can Your Google+ Local Page Improve AdWords Campaign Performance


Introduction to Ad Extensions

To understand how to integrate your Google+ Local account, you must first be familiar with ad extensions. Google AdWords ad extensions are, well, as the name suggests, extensions of your ads. A common ad extension you’ve probably seen in the search results is the Call Extension.  The Call Extension adds your phone number to the ad so prospects can call you directly from the ad.

Another popular ad extension is called Sitelink Extensions.  Sitelinks are additional links that show up below your ads when you’re one of the top 3 advertisers.  And as of October 2013, Google started to incorporate ad extensions into their ad ranking algorithm.  In Google’s own words,

If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.”

That means advertisers that take the time to set up ad extensions have a competitive advantage in AdWords!

OK, but what does this have to do with your Google+ Local account?


Use Google+ Local for Your Location Extension

Now that you understand the importance of ad extensions, let’s talk about the one extension where you can integrate your Google+ Local page directly into your AdWords ads.  It’s called the Location Extension.

The Location Extension gives you the ability to show your physical address on your ad in the search results.  More importantly, you can link your Google+ Local page so that your ads display information from your Google+ Local page(s).  Note that if you have multiple locations, then Google will automatically display the address nearest the person searching.

Pretty cool right?

Well, not just cool, it actually improves your campaign performance.  Based on the results from one of my clients in January, the ads showing the Google+ Local Location Extensions had a 3.19% click through rate and a 3.57% conversion rate.  Compare that to a campaign average click through rate of 2.04% and a conversion rate of 1.93% and you can clearly see how these extensions improve overall AdWords performance!


Social Extensions are from Google+

Finally, have you seen ads in Google that say, “

[Company] has [#] followers on Google+”?

That’s a social extension, which are starting to show up automatically on all AdWords accounts that quality.  Google claims these extensions will only show when their “system predicts that they will improve campaign performance.”

When I look at the same client example I used above, then the ads showing the Social Extensions had a 3.05% click through rate and a 2.17% conversion rate. Not as impressive as the Location Extension, but still a nice lift in campaign performance.  Certainly worth the extra effort to make sure your Google+ page meets the requirements.

So if you’re currently advertising, or thinking of launching a campaign soon, then make sure you set up all the relevant ad extensions, as well as the automatic Social Extensions and Google+ Local Location Extensions. It could be the difference between ranking above or below your competitors in the ad results.