Increase in-store traffic with AdWords

Increase in-store traffic with AdWords

Boost in-store traffic and create a well-rounded customer experience with Google AdWords. Learn how your online marketing can increase store traffic, today.

You probably know that online ads are useful for driving people to your website. But did you know that search ads can help bring more customers through the front door of your business, too? A 2014 study found that 50% of people who searched on their smartphone for a local business visited a store within a day, and 32% of customers said that they visited a store or made a purchase because of location-based ads they found while searching online.1

That means that online ads can be a great opportunity to connect with potential customers in your area, just when they’re interested in what you offer. Google AdWords also allows you to include features like Google Maps links in your ad, showing people the best route to your business’s front door the moment they're ready to visit.

Read on for advice about how AdWords can help increase traffic to your store.

Pinpoint your location on the map

Of course, an important part of increasing your in-store visitors is making sure people can find your business, both online and in real life. The first step is to verify your location through Google My Business, which will help make sure you’re showing up on Google Maps, in the right place.

Have you ever searched by name for a business on Google, and seen a big listing pop up that includes their info, location on Maps, and maybe even photos and reviews? Then you’ve seen Google My Business in action. Verifying your business and getting your own comprehensive listing is free, and when you do, potential customers will get all your information — including your exact location on Maps and directions to your store — the moment they want to come visit you. Learn more about how Google My Business works here.

Once your business is verified, you can link your Google My Business and AdWords accounts to take advantage of even more features to help people reach you (which we'll get into in more detail below). See how to link your accounts here.

Reach nearby customers with location targeting

If you want to use online ads to boost in-store traffic for a storefront in Charlotte, for example, then it might not make sense to show ads across the entire state of North Carolina — let alone the rest of the country. You don’t want to pay for clicks from people who can’t visit you in person.

Instead, you could use the AdWords location targeting feature to limit the geographic areas your ad shows in, and restrict your audience to people searching in and around Charlotte. Location targeting is strongly recommended for businesses with physical storefronts, because it helps you use your AdWords budget more effectively, connecting with people in the moments — and the places — that matter. Explore more info about location targeting.

By using location extension targeting, your ad will be displayed when someone is physically in the area around your store location.

Show your address with location extensions

Many local customers search online for a business they want to visit immediately. You can accommodate these customers by including location extensions in your ads. These extensions will show your address right in your ad, and can give your visitors directions to your business through Google Maps. In mobile ads, location extensions include a clickable link to detailed information about your business and (on some devices) can show people how close they are to your store.

See more about how to add location extensions to your ads.

Draw visitors to your door with location extensions targeting options

You can also use location extensions to fine-tune the geo-targeting of your ads and increase your chances of showing up in searches near your store. Targeting by location extensions is different than regular AdWords location targeting, and has to do with the way you bid to show your ads.

Normally, when you set up your AdWords account you choose an amount that you’d be willing to pay (or “bid”) on having your ad show up in searches related to your business. If you’re using regular location targeting, your ads will only show up in the areas you selected, according to your normal bid amounts.

With extension targeting, you can widen the area in which your ad shows, but designate a smaller physical radius around your store and set a higher bid for searches performed in that area. AdWords will automatically adjust your bid for people who search in that radius, and you’ll be much more likely to show up when local customers search for what you offer, just when they’re close by.

Learn more about how to use location extensions when targeting your ads.

Gain deeper insights with AdWords Store Visits

Getting your ad in front of local customers is half the battle. But once you do, you probably want to know whether those people came through the door. AdWords can help, with the “store visits” metric in our All Conversions feature. This measurement notes how close people are to your address when your ad is displayed, and then tracking whether they visit.

The “store visits” metric is just an estimate, because Google designed it with customer privacy in mind. The numbers come from anonymized data, from a sample set of users who have Location History turned on in their phones. (A user’s actual location is never provided.) If you’re interested, read more about Location History here.

A couple of other things to keep in mind about the store visits option: first, the data only estimates visits to your store, not purchases or other transactions. And second, your business has to meet a handful of requirements to be able to use it. Check the eligibility requirements to see if store visits is right for your campaign.

Learn more about measuring with AdWords Store Visits.


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* For customers committing to $10 per day or more in ad budget. Phone support operating hours are Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm ET