Google is the king of all search engines, and when the king speaks, the internet listens. At least, that’s how it usually works. Recently though, Google’s local listings have been pretty heavily criticized for moving back towards a one-box local spam result listing. This was bad news for local businesses trying to bolster their local internet marketing.
However, it looks like Google is trying to make amends by rolling out new features for Google Shopping that places local merchants first. This refers to local storefronts and the availability of local ads for Product Listing Ads (PLA) on both desktops and mobile devices.
When users are searching for a product on Google, they now have more of a chance of seeing a PLA from a local store. This is even more prevalent for those users who are signed in to Google as their shopping results will be even more in tune with their location. Once they click on the PLA, they’ll be taken to the storefront page of that local business and be able to browse the store’s inventory.
This is all managed through Google Merchant Center which will allow the following for local internet marketing:
- Local availability for PLA’s and the local storefront are based on a local product feed
- Retailers can provide customers with up-to-date item-level price and availability for each product
If your business participates you do have to pay for clicks on the PLA to your local storefront on a cost-per-click basis, but all interactions on the local storefront are free. You’ll also be able to see the performance for the separate local clicks.
These new local internet marketing features can help local retailers use Google Shopping to help them boost the marketing of the items not only sold online, but also sold in their store. At the moment these features are only available for a limited amount of retailers, but Google is planning on greatly expanding this feature by the holiday season.
Google once again showing that they do care about the little guy by trying to improve local internet marketing for those local retailers who wish to expand to an online storefront.