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Google's Promoted Pins In Focus

Posted on 9.25.2016

Despite the ease and value of shopping online, most sales still take place offline. In fact, some 90 percent of retail sales will happen in physical stores, and upward of half of smartphone users who search for something locally will end up visiting a retail location within 24 hours. 

That might change however with a recent Google Maps update. Google hopes that its new promoted pins offering will help bridge the gap between online traffic and in-store traffic, and give local businesses a better opportunity to generate sales in a very mobile world. 

Google already shows pins for some businesses and places of interest (landmarks) already, but promoted pins will be much different. The promoted pins will be in a purple color (and not the red for regular pins) and be accompanied by promotions and coupons that are tailored and personalized to a users search history. 

To get started with promoted pins, businesses need to be verified by Google, meet the advertiser eligibility requirements, and enable location extensions in AdWords (which involves linking a Google My Business Account to an AdWords account). 

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Businesses are charged per click in the program, and those clicks can come in a variety of forms, from click-to-call actions, get location clicks, for get direction interactions. 

Do Promoted Pins work to drive in-store visits? For one well known national brand it most certainly did according to Google. PetSmart learned how to tie together data from its search ads with data from Google’s Store Visits and found that between 10 and 18 percent of users who clicked on its ads ended up inside a PetSmart store within a month. PetSmart conceivably use this information to make more informed budgeting decisions for their online marketing strategies moving forward, and provide data driven proof of the value in search ads for their merchandising partners. 

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