Search advertising trends and opportunities

Google analyzes its search engine data in order to provide advertisers with actionable insights. By knowing consumer search patterns, such as which keywords people are typing and where they want to buy items, advertisers can more effectively create and target ads to reach people, whether they’re exploring the options or they’re ready to buy.

Using search for local advertising

Most consumers search for things they want to find locally, like a nearby restaurant or a neighborhood retailer that has a particular product in stock. As a result, 4 in 5 consumers say they want ads customized to where they are: their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings (source).

According to one study, half of the people who conduct a local search on their smartphone--and 34% of those who search on a computer or tablet--visit a store within a day (source). Then, product information in hand, they often head to brick-and-mortar stores.

This means it’s a good idea to use location assets in your search ads. You can also use location bid adjustments to fine-tune bids for specific areas, like cities or zip codes. And don’t forget to include easy-to-find directions, inventory, and pricing when people land on your site or app.

Consumers also say they do searches throughout the product-buying process, from inspiration to research to purchase to post-purchase (source). This means advertisers have a variety of contact points where they could potentially influence potential customers. Look at each touchpoint to see if you can tailor the experience to your local market.

Mobile ads and search

Smartphones are an ever-more-essential tool in people’s busy lives, not just for communication but for finding and buying products and services.

This makes mobile ads a great bet for advertisers, and studies confirm that consumers are receptive to seeing them. Fifty-nine percent of people say they find mobile ads useful (source), and 56% of smartphone users have done a mobile search after seeing an ad (source). Seventy three percent of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversions (source).

So whether you’re focused on performance in a campaign or on building a brand, mobile advertising is a powerful way to reach your audience.

Using search for brand marketing

When people do a search for a product or service, they expect brands to deliver just the right solution in their moment of need.

Whether you're a small business or a global brand, you have to be comprehensively and consistently there for consumers, providing relevant information and a seamless buying experience that delights your customers. You can make this happen by thinking about how people might look for your brand or store.

You can use free tools like Google Trends to figure out a plan of action, confirm your hunches, and dig deeper. If you can focus on what consumers want in their moments of need, ensure that you’re there when someone searches for you, and provide a great buying experience, you’ll start to build a following and a preference for your brand.

Next we’ll discuss how search can fulfill advertisers’ objectives.

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