Did you know that over 20% of searches on Google are related to location, and that 88% of people who search for local information on their smartphones take action within the same day?  Local advertising on Google is HUGE, and if you are using Google AdWords to advertise your business locally, we have some very exciting news.  Google recently introduced three new features that will allow local advertisers to create ads more relevant to potential local customers.

The first local advertising enhancement is the ability to target customers by zip code.  Prior to this, advertisers were only able to target their accounts by cities and/or metro areas.  Google AdWords campaigns will now have the ability to target over 30,000 US zip codes with performance statistics available at the postal code level.  This means that you will be able to literally SEE exactly where your clicks are coming from and the quality of leads you receive from each specific postal code.  Advertisers will then be able to optimize their campaigns based on which area produces the highest ROI for their business.

The next update to Google AdWords local advertising is the ability to have “more clarity and control” through advanced location targeting.  Basically, Google is making the location targeting options easier to understand and implement by allowing them to easily ensure that people who should be seeing their ads do, and those who shouldn’t don’t.   This update should improve the click-through-rates (CTR) for locally targeted campaigns.

The final, and in my humble opinion, most exciting update to Google Adwords local advertising is the ability to create Location Insertion ads.  Similar to Keyword Insertion ads, location insertion allows ad text to by dynamically updated to include city, postal code or phone number that matches a searcher’s geographic location.  This update will allow advertisers to have extremely relevant and customized ad copy shown to potential local customers.  In order to start using location insertion, location extensions must be enabled in the campaign.  Next a parameter tag will need to be added to the ad text.  Google will then replace the parameter in the ad with information that most closely matches the location extension of the local searcher.  These location specific parameters can be inserted into the ad title, description lines and both the display and destination URL fields making for extremely relevant local ads.