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Google AdWords Tips: Location Extensions

March 31, 2016

Drive calls and foot traffic directly to your local business!

According to Astoundz Marketing, many people searching for a product or service aren’t looking for a website; they want to find a nearby business. Adding a location extension to your Google PPC ad lets you direct local searches straight to your retail store, not just your website, and it will help you to get the google search ranking up.

What Google AdWords Location Extensions Look Like

A location extension on a laptop or desktop:

Verizon Google Adwords Location Extension Example

Location extensions on a smartphone:

Smartphone Google Adwords Location Extensions Example

Benefits of Google AdWords Location Extensions

With this extension, you can:

  • Encourage people to contact or visit your brick and mortar location.
  • Show multiple nearby locations.
  • Dynamically insert city into ad text.

As with all Google AdWords extensions, location extensions let you:

  • Get extra ad space to communicate your value.
  • Increase your CTR, thereby boosting your Quality Score and lowering your costs.

How AdWords Location Extensions Work


Location extensions provide additional opportunities to interact with your ad; in addition to clicking the headline, potential customers can choose to click a click-to-call button or get directions to your location. You’ll be charged the same CPC for whichever action the user takes, whether she visits your website, clicks through to maps, or calls you.

Google AdWords location extensions are unique in that they can incur cost without directly resulting in conversions (review clicks aren’t charged; call extensions and site links can drive conversions). It’s important to ensure that location extensions performance is measured and providing value (if you don’t want anyone visiting your location, then “get directions” clicks aren’t helping your business).

Constraints & Requirements

  • As of 2014, your location extension info is based on your linked Google My Business account. It’s no longer possible to manually upload business listings to AdWords.

What to Expect

Google claims that AdWords location extensions can boost clickthrough rate by up to 10%.

To check performance of location extensions, be sure to segment your data, or else you will end up with very misleading data in the interface:

Data Segmentation

Here is an example of data after the Click Type segment is applied. Note that Mobile clicks-to-call and Get direction are not tracked through to conversions:

Click type segment data

Strategic Tips

Understand the type of phone tracking used: According to a well known copywriter, phone number extensions can be confusing for many advertisers. Remember that phone numbers used from location extensions don’t have a forwarding number. While click-to-call functionality will measure initiated calls, you won’t get the rich call data that’s available from call extensions.

Take advantage of dynamic location insertion: When location extensions are used, cities can be dynamically inserted into ads. This allows you to easily run targeted, location-relevant ads without duplicating ad groups and campaigns.

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Use filters to be selective about business listings: Linking to your Google My Business locations means that any of your location listings are eligible to appear in your ad, including the locations you’ve claimed but where you don’t want foot traffic (your business park headquarters, for instance). In these instances, using a filter can resolve the problem:

Google My Business Locations

Increase your bids when searchers are near your location: You can now adjust your bids based on someone’s proximity to your listings. From the campaign settings tab, simply select “location” and choose location groups. You can then specify the target radius around each location (use “user location” data from the dimensions tab to decide what radius is right for you).

Location bid adjustment

Once you’ve set your radius, the target will show up in your locations list, where you can set your bid adjustment. If you find that people are more likely to convert when there’s a brick & mortar location near them, this is a great way to boost your bids for the right traffic.

Location list

Next Steps

  1. Your Google My Business and AdWords account need to have the same email address; if they don’t already, we’ll send you the email to add as a GMB manager.
  2. We’ll link the accounts from within AdWords & apply any filters.
  3. Your location extensions should be running within 24 hours!

Other Resources

As you can probably tell, we help organizations optimize their paid search marketing and holistically analyze data to support their business decision making. Analytics insights don’t provide value, unless you take action. If you’re interested in tips on how to take action and improve performance in digital marketing, read the related posts in this series on Google Adwords extensions and other digital marketing tips that demonstrate our commitment to “Take Action!

Amy Hebdon
About the Author

Amy is Director of Paid Search at Blast Analytics & Marketing. She has over 10 years experience optimizing paid search campaigns to hit aggressive KPIs, and loves the industry's unique ability to measure the impact of creative marketing.

Amy Hebdon has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.

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