As a small business owner, it is essential to explore all possibilities when it comes to advertising, finding new potential customers, and securing new clients.
Successful methods that attract potential customers without becoming overly popular among your competitors can make your job easier.
In this context, advertising through Google My Business stands out. This is distinct from advertising through Google Ads (which is often not suitable for smaller budgets).
Here’s what you need to know about advertising on Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, or simply GMB, is a platform that local businesses can establish to enhance their visibility in online and local settings.
By creating a GMB account for your business, you have the potential to appear in local search results, directing more people to your website, and ultimately, to your products or services.
GMB essentially provides a business profile and a control panel, allowing businesses to share their business address, phone numbers, websites, photos, essential contact information, store hours, and details about the business.
Business owners can also grant access to their staff to manage their GMB profiles, enabling them to represent the business, respond to inquiries, and make regular updates similar to a social media account.
Opening a GMB account is free and is a crucial step if you have a physical store.
Management is minimal; you only need to verify your address and handle reviews.
Can I Run Ads on Google My Business?
You can advertise on GMB, and this is a different service than Google Ads (which we will compare below).
The truth is that Google has recently allowed businesses to host sponsored ads or listings even in the local channel.
To do this, you need to link your GMB account with your Google Ads campaigns.
This enables your ads to be eligible for appearing in local results.
So, what does this look like?
Whenever someone searches for a specific service in a region, an ad will appear as part of the top search results.
It is labeled as “Ad,” so you know that it appeared not due to popularity but because the listing was paid for.
Essentially, when you run paid advertising through GMB, you are advertising through Google Maps rather than the Google search engine.
Google refers to this as Smart Campaigns (in contrast to Google Ads).
Google Ads vs. Ads on Google My Business
Smart campaigns help business owners reach more customers through online advertising.
This service is fundamentally different from Google Ads as it utilizes local search settings and Google Maps.
If you’re new to this, it can be confusing because Google offers multiple services that may seem similar. Here are the differences:
Google My Business: An online business profile that allows you to list your business through a verified local address (note that businesses can verify their listings in different ways and do not necessarily need a physical address). Verified businesses are more likely to appear on Google Maps and in a panel on the right-hand side of Google search results.
Google Ads: Paid advertising done through a bidding system that appears in Google search results when anyone searches for related keywords. The bidding system selects the best ad based on keyword relevance and price, and these ads typically appear as the first two and last two listings in each search.
Smart campaigns: Paid advertising through Google Maps or local searches, focusing on local businesses. This paid advertising method allows local businesses to appear as the top choice, listed as an ad, when someone conducts a local search using relevant keywords.
To keep it simple, we recommend:
- Setting up a free GMB profile.
- Trying smart campaigns, especially if your services are locally based.
- Avoiding Google Ads if you have a limited budget.
How to Set Up Paid Advertising in GMB
Setting up paid advertising or a smart campaign in GMB is a straightforward process, but it requires you to have a GMB profile first.
If you haven’t already, create and verify your GMB profile. While you can initiate the smart campaign setup without it, your ad won’t be linked to your location settings.
Smart campaigns are still managed through Google Ads, but they focus on local promotion.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started:
- Sign up for Google Ads using the same account as your GMB profile.
- Create a new Google Ads account.
3. You can promote a website or your Business Profile
4. If you have a business, then you can find it by clicking on “sign up for Google My Business.”
Linking your GMB to your Google Ads allows your ads to appear with location details (also known as location extensions).
If you have a GMB account, you can also link to these ads through your Google profile. Just turn on Business features and business personalization.
If you already have a GMB account, log in to your Google Ads account and click on “Ads & Extensions” on the left-hand side of the page. Go to the “Extensions” section at the top of the page.
Next, click the blue plus button to select “Location extension.”
You can locate an existing Business Account using a website domain or link an account you’re already aware of.
You can perform searches based on the country, URL, or matching your business.
You can access known accounts only through the “Link to accounts you know” option.
Benefits of Smart Campaigns Using GMB
Google is offering an option that makes local advertising even more practical for small business owners.
Smart campaigns are a smart choice for small business owners who want to do local advertising in competitive markets without exceeding their budget.
Similar to how Google Ads are configured, smart campaign users only pay for the results they achieve. You can set a monthly budget, and Google won’t exceed that limit.
Furthermore, these ads are exclusively targeted at local customers, ensuring that those who come across your ad are highly relevant.
With smart campaigns, you can achieve much greater visibility, and your advertising budget lasts longer.
You can reach a broader audience through a simple platform (without the need to advertise on other platforms like Facebook) and pay only for the resources you use.
Creating an ad takes only a few minutes.
You can run ads called Smart Campaigns on Google My Business.
Smart campaigns assist business owners in reaching more customers through online advertising while also providing location details.
This service is distinct from Google Ads because it utilizes local search settings and Google Maps as its primary advertising format.
Make sure to link your GMB profile with your Smart Campaign/Google Ads account to ensure that location details are visible.
The ad will still operate through Google Ads, but you won’t be included in the same bidding system as Google Ads.
With Smart Campaign, you can reach more potential customers through a single, straightforward platform and only pay for the resources you use.
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