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Google search strategies for 2021 and beyond

Google search strategies for 2021 and beyond

February 2, 2021 | By Taylor Von Wald

If you ask most people, the first thing that comes to mind when you say you’re going to “do a search” is Google, and rightfully so. In 2020, there were 6.8 million searches on Google every day. That’s 2.5 trillion searches in a year. Also, in the Google family, we have Google Maps, Gmail, Google Chrome, Android, Google Display Network, Google Play … and the list goes on.

Today, there are over one billion active users on each Google property each month. Simply put, that’s a lot of eyeballs.

As such, Google has started to change their approach up a bit when it comes to advertising. In the last few months, we’ve detected a shift toward cross-channel solutions that focus on driving higher brand awareness and foot traffic. There is an increased focus on local business solutions and location-based campaigns. Google’s emphasis on machine learning capabilities and improvements is a trend that will continue in 2021 and beyond.

As Google continues to evolve smart learning and machine technology in how they serve SERPs to users in 2021, businesses who adapt and test these new marketing strategies will reap the benefits of increased leads and sales. The Seattle Times Media Solutions, a Google Partner, continues to work alongside Google to ensure our clients are aware of these new ad product types and their potential to help small businesses grow.

Google Discovery Campaigns 

Discovery ads are a new campaign type built to reach new customers across Google properties in moments when the customers are open to discovering something new. Google has bundled several of their core experiences together to make it easier for brands to find new customers.

​Discovery ads show up for mobile users in the Google Search app. Since this is a native function for Android, discovery ads will show up for Android users, but they currently only show for iPhone users who are utilizing the Google search app.

On YouTube, visitors on their home feed or “Watch Next” feed will find new and engaging content containing a customized experience to help them find something new. These feeds drive 50% of all watch time on YouTube and are critical to content discovery on YouTube.​

You may have noticed promotional emails in your Gmail account. In the Promotions and Social tabs, you can engage consumers who have read through their primary emails and are open to receiving a commercial message from your business.

With Google Discovery campaigns, you can reach users that are interested in your business across all of these touchpoints using a singular campaign, with optimized creatives which will serve appropriately for each experience.

Discovery ads are served to highly relevant users based on audience signals and customer intent. Google audience solutions can be layered on to your Discovery ads to show highly relevant ads to prospective customers. You can leverage everything from Remarketing & Customer Match to re-engage key audiences, or develop solutions like Custom Intent and In-Market to support prospecting objectives. Similar to a “look-alike audience” in Facebook, we have the option to target “similar audiences” based on your current customer lists.

For businesses looking to reach new and highly relevant audiences, Discovery Campaigns might be a perfect fit for you.

Google Local Campaigns

Similar to Google Discovery campaigns, Google Local campaigns gives local businesses the ability to advertise their store across many of Google’s products, reaching customers at the right place and time using Google’s machine learning to maximize results. These campaigns serve ads through a mix of Google.com, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Display Network and Google Business profiles. The difference between Local campaigns and Discovery campaigns is that Google Local campaigns are focused on assisting in driving your offline business goals, such as directions, click to calls, business information and website clicks.

Google Local campaigns are a Google Ads campaign type which is open to any physical business with an actively managed Google My Business profile. Google’s machine learning technology optimizes bids, ad placements and ad asset combinations. Businesses wishing to run a Google Local campaign will need a budget allocation, a Google My Business page, a logo and video creative. Businesses are charged for a click when users click on location details, directions to your location, mobile click-to-call and website clicks.

If you are a brick-and-mortar retail store looking to drive more offline conversions such as foot traffic and calls to your business, a Google Local campaign might be a great addition to a traditional Google Ads search campaign.

Google Local Services Ads

Google Local Services ads allow service-based businesses to display a Google Guaranteed or Google Screened badge, helping connect them with people who search on Google for the services the businesses offer. Ads are served within a business’s service area, and advertisers only pay if a customer calls directly through the ad.

While Google Ads and Local Services ads share similarities, budgeting and ad targeting are set up separately, and Google Local Services ads are based on a pay-per-lead basis. This Google advertising product is for local businesses who offer home or professional services. These ads allow businesses to stand out from the competition, building trust as a verified Google provider. Businesses must possess a star rating on Google My Business of 3.0 or greater to be eligible.

There are currently two different types of Local Services ads. Home services, such as HVAC, appliance repair, house cleaners, plumbers and others can earn a “Google Guaranteed” badge when becoming a verified provider through this program. If a consumer connects or books through Google, the program offers a money-back guarantee of up to $2,000 (lifetime cap) if consumers aren’t satisfied with the provider’s work.

Professional services such as real estate, financial planning and law can earn a “Google Screened badge. This helps you build a trusted reputation online, displaying to potential customers that you have passed the background and licensing checks Google requires.

Based on your industry, you can become a Google Screened or Google Guaranteed provider and earn a badge for your business. The Seattle Times Media Solutions can help!

As mentioned, these ad types require background checks, screening and qualification by Google. They also may require insurance checks, license checks, registration documents and other verification documents based on your business category. The Seattle Times Media Solutions can assist with the process of getting verified for Google Guaranteed or Google Screened by working directly with Google to ensure the process goes smoothly. We can also assist with helping decide on a budget.

Contact us today to learn more about the best local advertising options for your business

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