Boost Your Business on Google Maps in a Few Easy Steps

Mobile has become a huge focus for Google, and out of all their recent updates and announcements, Google Maps’ promoted pins are causing some chatter among local business owners.

Over one billion people around the world currently have the Google Maps app on their phones, making local search efforts more important than ever for brands.

What are promoted pins exactly?

Chances are you’re already quite familiar with the red pins that you’ll find on Google Maps when performing a search for a particular destination. Google’s new promoted pins will help you stand out from the competitors around you by providing you with a bright purple pin on your local map instead.

Google Maps users can now tap on purple pins to view more details about a business, such as the products they sell. Users can also be presented with a coupon or promotion that will convince them to choose your business over your competitors.


Brands with promoted pins will also be featured in one of the two top spots in organic search results.


Google will use the following search criteria to decide whether a brand’s promoted pin will show up on a map:

  • Search query
  • Location
  • Browser’s interest and behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Time of day

Why is Google launching promoted pins?

One of the main reasons why Google has decided to launch promoted pins is to bridge the gap between mobile search and physical locations. They have found that nearly a third of all mobile searches are related to location and that location-based searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches in general.

They also found that three out of every four people who perform a search in their immediate area will end up visiting a store within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.

How to start using promoted pins

If local search is an important part of your online strategy, you’re probably wondering how you can get started. Follow the below steps to start taking advantage of Google Maps’ promoted pins:

  1. Update your Google My Business listing. It’s extremely important for you to make sure that all of the details on your Google My Business listing are correct before you start running promoted pins.
  2. Enable location extensions for AdWords. Once you login to your Google AdWords account, click on the Ad Extensions tab. You will find the Location Extensions option in the drop-down menu. For detailed instructions, read this post.
  3. Setup your pin’s targeting. Setup location and keyword targeting to start using promoted pins. Select your store’s location and target areas within a 3-5 mile radius around your store to draw in new customers who might not have known about you before. For advice on choosing the right keywords for your campaign, watch this video:

How your business will be charged

When you setup a pin, you will need to have a call-to-action. You will also be charged every time someone clicks on your call-to-action. Call-to-action examples include:

  • Get Directions
  • Get Location
  • Click-to-Call

In terms of how much you should spend on promoting a pin, that’s dependent on your business. This is not a strategy that will work for every business so it’s best to test it with a small portion of your budget before you decide to spend more. Get your creative team to test out different ads too to really decide whether this marketing tactic is right for you.

Track the results of your Google Maps’ promoted pins campaign by logging into AdWords and clicking on the Campaigns tab. You will find your results under Segment, Click Type.