People use their mobile devices to discover and engage with the world around them. Searching for local information is one of the most common activities on mobile - in the US, 94% of respondents said they had done so, and nearly every surveyed country reported numbers over 80%. With Google Maps, they make informed decisions about places to see, shops to visit, meals to eat, and more.

To enable advertisers to better connect with potential customers via mobile search, we have redesigned our local ad formats for Google Maps for Mobile. These have produced measurable results - in initial tests, these redesigned formats increased click-through-rates by 100%. This visual redesign will be rolling out today to the newer versions of Android phones. 

The updated formats feature several key improvements:
  • Important calls to action like “get directions” and “click to call” are now more prominent in the ad and clickable in more places.  
  • A new hyperlocal marker shows the user how close they are to an advertiser’s business location.
  • Clicking on the ad now takes the user to an advertiser’s website from within the app, making it simple to browse the site without losing context or access to maps app navigation.
Above: Current view of local ads in Google Maps for Mobile  
Below:  Launching today, newly redesigned local ads in Google Maps for Mobile

Ads in Google Maps for Mobile are one of many ways advertisers are delivering relevant local answers to people’s questions on mobile. Likewise, a recent campaign from T-Mobile shows how search ads, combined with location extensions, enabled them to reach users close to their store locations across mobile search and maps.

T-Mobile understood that they needed to adjust their goals and tactics to cater to mobile user behavior. On the difference in user behavior between desktop and mobile campaigns, Kari Nicholas, Media Director of T-Mobile USA explained, “Consumers searching on mobile devices tend to be further down the purchase funnel and have a more informed opinion about what they want, which presents an opportunity for us to influence their decision regarding where to buy while they’re on the go. That’s why we felt it was essential to provide a way for them to easily find our retail locations.” T-Mobile’s approach of using mobile location extensions drove over 160,000 click-throughs and a click-through-rate of 13%. To read more, download the full case study, here.

T-Mobile’s mobile search ads on and Google Maps for Mobile contain locally relevant information like a user’s distance from their closest location, and the ability to call and get directions to their closest store.
Mobile technology is enabling people to connect with businesses in new ways via smartphones and tablets. People use search and click to businesses’ websites, but they are also clicking to make phone calls, find directions to walk into local stores, and more. To take advantage of these new local search ads on Google Maps for Mobile, make sure you’ve done the following:
  • Target the relevant campaigns to mobile devices
  • Enable ads to show to search partners
  • Finally, have location extensions enabled within AdWords to take advantage of all these new features - so be sure to enable them if you haven’t already!
We’re looking forward to further understanding mobile usage trends and helping businesses better connect with their customers on the go.

Posted by Jay Akkad, Product Manager, Mobile Ads