Google launches new ad formats for local campaigns and pickup later option for local inventory ads

Google announced a number of local ad features at its annual Google Marketing Livestream event.

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Google is announcing a number of new local ad-based features at its Google Marketing Livestream event today. These include new ad formats for local campaigns and a new option for “pickup later” in the local inventory ads.

New local campaign ad formats

Auto Suggest ads. Google launched a new ad format for local ads named Auto Suggest ads. Auto Suggest ads show ads based on the searcher’s location. When a searcher is nearby and looks for a related product or service in Google Maps, the ad will auto-suggest the advertiser’s nearby location to that searcher.

The example Google gave for this one is that if you search for [oil change] in Maps, Google might show an ad for an auto garage that is near your current location.

Google Auto Suggest Ad
Image: Google.

Navigational ads. Google also launched the new Navigational ad format for local ads. Navigational ads are shown while you are using Google Maps driving directions. This allows businesses to show their ads while a user is en route to a destination. So if you’re headed to pick up dinner, a nearby gas station could use Navigational ads to let you know that you can fill up along the way. While driving, Maps users can add the stop to the advertised business to the route. Google said it places the ads in driving directions mode in a “safety conscious manner.”

Google Navigation Ad
Image: Google.

Similar Places ads. Google also launched a new ad format for local ads named Similar Places ads. These ads show up when you search for a specific business location and that business is closed at the time of the search. In that case, Google may show a similar business on the map by showing the business name with the label “Similar and open.”

Google Similar Places
Image: Google.

All three of these new ad formats are coming to local ad campaigns in the second quarter of this year and will be available to all advertisers globally.

Local inventory ads now include pickup later option

Pickup later. Google is launching an open beta for US-based advertisers to expand store pickup options by labeling their local inventory ads with a “pickup later” option. Below is an example of a label showing “pick up by Monday.”

Pickup Today Pickup Later

This adds to the “pickup today” and “curbside pickup” options that local inventory ads already have within the nearby shopping features. Searches for “in stock” have grown globally by over 800% year over year, Google said. Google’s Merchant Center explains how to add the pickup later option to your existing Google Shopping Ads feed.

Why we care

One consistent theme we have seen in search over the past decade is that users continue to search in their surrounding areas and expect to find local-specific results. Be it local service companies, restaurants or retail stores–searchers want to be able to find what they are looking to buy locally and immediately. These features will help advertisers reach those customers in a new way.

Check out our other Google Marketing Livestream coverage here:

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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