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2019 Prediction: Google Breaks Down Barrier to Entry for Local Advertisers

I think we’re going to see more of Google helping small and local businesses with their online advertising challenges. Small businesses often lack resources and have difficulty in measuring the success of their search campaigns, if direct online conversions aren’t there.

Google is supporting local businesses to better realize and act-on the local advertising opportunity by creating a host of products for them. They created local inventory ads (LIA) and storefronts, local service ads (limited industries available in US & Canada only) and are pulling from location extensions to show business results within Google Maps. These are all initiatives to better service the local market segment, but if the value still can’t be seen from smaller businesses, a challenge still remains.

Google’s in-store visits metric is helping to clarify the value of online advertising, but it’s limited to accounts that have multiple locations and generate thousands of clicks per month (or thousands of impressions on GDN). However, the combination of local ad types and tracking metrics (LIA and store visits; LSA and store visits) could be a very powerful combination for brick and mortar merchants to effectively measure the impact of their campaigns.

By the end of 2019 I believe these barriers to entry will lessen allowing more small and local businesses to better advertise and track their efforts, further catalyzing interest and investment in online advertising. I’m talking more categories for local service ads, more regional coverage and perhaps even enabling single-location stores to use the in-store tracking metric. If I’m right, next year we’re going to see a substantial increase in the number of local merchants advertising inside Google Ads.

To see all the 2019 predictions, download the full report.

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