Google is now testing Local Inventory Ads (LIA’s) in the place of it’s Local Pack on Mobile. As you will have seen through this week’s Bitesize hubbub, it was first spotted in the US. Now though, Google look to also be testing this in the UK. What does this mean? Why are they doing this? What can you do? Well calm down and we can give you everything you need to know.
Local Inventory Ads in Local Pack on Mobile
Google seem to be testing a new look for Local Inventory Ads which shows a deeper integration in Google Maps, which replaces the usual Local Pack we are used to seeing. It was originally spotted by Mike Blumenthal (above). Now, PPC hubbub has spotted these being tested in the UK…
When a user clicks onto the Product, they are still navigated to the Local Storefront of the Merchant…
For comparison, below you can see what is currently seen for most search queries with a Local Pack…
Instead of highlighting the local stores for me to pick up a new iPhone, Google is now displaying the local stores who are promoting their products through Local Inventory Ads.
What does this mean?
This seems to be a limited test for Local Inventory Ads, but Google are always looking to innovate their products. Local searches are growing 50% faster than overall mobile searches so it’s no wonder that they are continually looking to improve on their local inventory ad format.
Throughout 2016, we have seen Google integrating Product Listing Ads into it’s Google Maps, Local Packs and Knowledge Panels. April saw Google add Ads to it’s Local Finder results, and in August we saw Text Ads being tested in the UK Local Packs (find out more).
Consequently, we believe that 2017 will see even more testing to try to find the best way to further monetise Google’s local offering.
What can you do?
- Get ready for some changes. 2017 will see Local Inventory Ads further integrated into Google’s Local Pack. With growth in searches for “near me”, there is no doubt that Google will be looking for further ways to monetise this. For now, it looks to be just a test but this could be rolled out an a much bigger scale. Keep an eye on performance and use search query reports to monitor performance for terms such as ‘near me’. Optimise accordingly; find out more here.
- Utilise In-Store Visits data to help you quantify your online to offline performance. If Google roll out the above, do you see a better performance and higher footfall to store?
- Ensure your Google My Business data is up to date – you don’t want to be giving customers incorrect information.
- Test Local Inventory Ads – Are you running Google Shopping Campaigns? Do you have brick-and-mortar stores? Not yet tried out Local Inventory Ads? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?! Go, test them. Find out more here.
- Target “near me” searches with Keywords and your standard Text Ads too! Take over the Google SERP by maximising on the growth of “near me” search queries and have both your LIA and Text Ads in the same auction #winning.
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