The Travel Industry Can Benefit From Changes To Local Search Ads
Google has announced testing of new local ad features including sponsored drop-pins. Travellers will be able to find local hotels and restaurants with ease.
Google has unveiled an innovative new look to its local search ads which will be of interest to the travel industry. The ‘next generation’ of local search ads are designed to help businesses be more visible to mobile users.
Mobile Dominates The Search Landscape
Google is demonstrating a serious commitment to catering for the mobile user. Around a third of mobile queries are related to locations and these types of searches are growing at a strong rate of around 50% faster than general mobile searches over the past year. Over 1 billion people now use Google Maps and the combination of Google Search and Google Maps have together led over 1.5 billion consumers to a destination within the past year. Therefore it will come as no surprise that the search engine has used these stats to come up with innovative new features related to local search.
Sponsored Drop Pins
Travellers will soon notice the introduction of sponsored drop pins on Google Maps. These branded pins are designed to help local businesses to stand out from the crowd, when a user is travelling from A to B. Physical businesses such as hotels, restaurants, shops or tourist attractions can be promoted with their branded logos which will pinpoint their precise location along a driving or walking route.
Benefits For Travellers
This development in local search is of great benefit to travellers and smartphone users. As the online and offline worlds of consumers continue to blur together, a solution has been introduced to support users in their travel-related choices.
Tourists who enjoy a spontaneous way of travel will find the ability to tap and search for hotels or other types of accommodation to be of great use to them. Rather than creating detailed itineraries in advance, local search allows consumers to make spontaneous decisions about their travel plans whilst on the move. Even those who do prefer to pre-plan will be able to take advantage of these sponsored drop pins in the event that their schedule changes unexpectedly. If you have flight or rail delays and need to stay an extra night somewhere, then the drop-pin functionality will provide you with information about the nearest accommodation to your precise location.
Travellers who have gone off the beaten track and find themselves lost can also utilise the sponsored local search ads to seek out suitable facilities or amenities at the touch of a button.
Local Business Pages
Google has also taken the opportunity to give a revamp to its local business pages. Important company details such as name, address, phone number and store opening hours are still visible. However, visitors will now be able to take a glimpse of any special offers that exist instore. They will also be able to browse through a local inventory to check that the product they are looking for is in stock. This can save travellers some time if they are looking for something specific such as a travel adaptor or pharmaceutical products that they may have left at home.
It is worth noting that some of the changes in local search ads are only running in beta at the moment, but are expected to be rolled out to a wider audience within the next three months or so. In the meantime, businesses within the travel industry would do well to be prepared for the next stage in local advertising.