Best Practices for Using Location Extensions in Google Ads

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Google Ads, Google My Business

The digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly, with businesses leveraging various strategies to increase their online visibility. One such effective strategy is using location extensions in Google Ads, a powerful feature that can help local businesses drive more foot traffic and enhance their ad performance. But what are location extensions, and how can you harness their potential to boost your ad presence? Let’s find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Location extensions are a valuable tool for local businesses to increase visibility and accessibility to potential customers.

  • When implemented correctly, location extensions can significantly improve ad performance by boosting click-through rates up to 10%.

  • Mobile devices play an important role in optimizing location extension strategies with mobile friendly ad extensions, clickable maps of business locations, and the ability for users to easily initiate calls.

Unlocking the Potential of Google Ads Location Extensions

Location Extensions In Google Ads

In the sphere of online advertising, location extensions assume a critical role. These extensions, available in Google Ads, help local businesses provide additional information, such as their address, phone number, or business hours, right in the ad. This not only enhances the ad’s visibility but also makes it easier for potential customers to find the business location. To unlock the potential of location extensions, you first need to have a Google Ads account and a Google My Business account.

After successfully linking these two accounts, you have the ability to generate location extensions in your Google Ads account. The process is simple:

  1. Log into your Google Ads account

  2. Select the campaign

  3. Choose the ad group

  4. Navigate to “Ads & extensions”

  5. Once there, select the location extension

  6. Fill in the relevant information

  7. Hit “save”

However, before implementing location extensions, it’s beneficial to assess their value and influence on your specific business objectives.

Importance for Local Businesses

Location extensions are particularly advantageous for local businesses, as they aid in attracting local customers and boosting in-store traffic. Consider Clara, a bakery owner. She incorporated a location extension into her campaign, and now, when people in her vicinity search for “best bakery nearby” or “fresh bread”, her ad is likely to appear, attracting potential customers.

Besides, location extensions provide local businesses with increased ad real estate, helping them target their location-based advertising more effectively.

Impact on Ad Performance

Location extensions not only aid businesses in reaching their prospective customers but also substantially affect ad performance. Research shows that location extensions can boost click-through rates by up to 10%. This is because location extensions add an extra line to the ad, thereby increasing its visibility and occupying more space on the page. Consequently, they can lead to higher engagement and more clicks.

So, if you’re looking to create location extensions as a way to enhance user engagement and overall ad performance, they may well be the answer.

Setting the Stage: Google Ads Account Setup for Location Extensions

Google Ads Account Setup

Having understood the significance of location extensions, it’s time to lay the groundwork for their correct implementation. The setup for Google Ads account for location extensions is quite straightforward. But there’s a catch: each Google My Business account can only be associated with one Google Ads account. So what can you do if you have multiple Google Ads accounts? Well, Google has got you covered there as well. You can select your account from the list provided or search for an existing one.

Campaigns in Google Ads account have the option to access location extension from your Google My Business account. This feature is enabled by default. This means that you can configure filters to ensure that certain campaigns or ad groups only display particular location extensions. Moreover, establishing call reporting for location extensions can collect essential data from the calls received through the extensions. This data can provide valuable insights into your campaign performance and customer behavior.

Choosing the Right Campaign Type

Selecting the appropriate campaign type is fundamental to maximize the efficiency of location extensions. Google Ads offers a variety of campaign types, including search ads, and others such as:

  • Display

  • Video

  • Shopping

  • App

  • Local

  • Smart

  • Performance Max

  • Discovery

Location extensions can be beneficial across a range of these campaign types, especially those focused on driving customers to physical store or business locations. Utilizing location groups can help manage these extensions more efficiently.

When selecting a campaign type for location extensions, consider your campaign objective, target market, and keyword strategy.

Preparing Your GMB Account

Before initiating the use of location extensions, it is necessary to ready your Google My Business (GMB) account. To optimize your GMB profile for location extensions on Google Ads, it is recommended to include:

  • Precise business name

  • Full address

  • Contact number

  • Business hours

  • Website URL

  • Images

  • Description

Once you’ve verified your business on Google My Business using methods like postcard, phone, email, or video verification, your GMB account is ready to be linked with your Google Ad Account through Google Ads.

Step-by-Step: Adding Location Extensions to Your Campaign

Adding Location Extensions To Your Campaign

After your Google Ads and GMB accounts are prepared, the next step is to incorporate location extensions into your campaign. As you already know, you can add location extensions by navigating to the ‘Ads & extensions’ option in your Google Ads account. But remember, once the location extensions have been configured, it’s crucial to click “Save and continue”. This will ensure that your location extensions are correctly set up and ready to be used.

But how can you customize these location extensions for several locations or fine-tune location targets? The subsequent two subsections address this.

Customizing for Multiple Locations

If your business operates from several locations, personalizing your location extensions can be slightly more intricate. However, Google Ads makes this process easier by allowing you to specify up to 1000 locations for targeting purposes. For better budget management, it’s advisable to divide these locations into separate campaigns.

This approach ensures the appropriate locations are linked with the correct ads, which can elevate the complete performance of your campaigns.

Refining Location Targets

Refining location targets is another critical step in enhancing the effectiveness of your location extensions. Google Ads allows you to select entire countries, areas within a country, or even set a radius around a specific location. By targeting specific locations, your ads will be displayed to the relevant customers in specific geographic areas, ensuring that your advertising budget is used efficiently.

Also, fine-tuning location targets can enhance ad relevance, potentially raising Quality Scores and lowering costs.

Enhancing User Experience with Maps and Directions

Enhancing User Experience With Maps And Directions

Location extensions serve not only to display your business location in your ads, but also to enrich the user experience. With interactive maps and driving directions, you can ensure that your ads are not only informative but also engaging. Google Maps integration with Google Ads enables your ads to appear at the top of Google Maps search results. This local advertising can help your business expand its ad presence and reach potential customers searching for relevant products or services on Google Maps.

But how can you render your maps interactive and offer driving directions to your customers? Let’s find out.

Map Interactivity in Ads

Interactive maps can notably enrich the user experience. When you incorporate Google Maps into your Google Ads location extensions, your ads will display your address and a map to your location. This not only provides users with a visual representation of your business location but also offers them additional information, like directions and navigation.

Moreover, interactive maps make it easier for mobile users to interact with your ads, thereby improving their overall experience.

Driving Directions as a Click Option

Driving directions, on the other hand, can make it easier for users to locate your business. By including driving directions in your Google Ads location extensions, users can navigate to your location conveniently. This can lead to an increase in foot traffic to your physical locations, resulting in enhanced conversion rates.

After all, the more accessible your business is to your customers, the more likely they are to visit.

Optimizing Location Extensions for Maximum Effectiveness

Optimizing Location Extensions

After setting up your location extensions and incorporating maps and directions, the subsequent step is to optimize them for peak efficiency. This involves finding a balance between ad content and location information and tracking location extension engagement. By optimizing your location extensions, you can ensure that they serve their purpose effectively and contribute to your overall Google Ads strategy.

But how can you balance ad content with location information, and how can you track location extension engagement? Let’s delve deeper into these topics.

Balancing Ad Content and Location Info

Maintaining a balance between ad content and location information is vital to ensure ad relevance and user interest. By leveraging location data, you can provide more personalized and valuable ads to your target audience, thereby increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

However, it’s important to ensure that the location information doesn’t overshadow the ad content itself. After all, the ad content is what conveys your message to your audience and prompts them to take action.

Tracking Location Extension Engagement

On the contrary, monitoring location extension engagement can assist you in evaluating the performance of your location extensions and making required adjustments. By using the call and message reporting feature in the main extensions tab, you can track the engagement of your location extensions. This feature enables you to track calls and messages generated from your location extensions as conversions.

These insights can help you understand how your audience is interacting with your location extensions and determine if you need to make any changes to improve their effectiveness.

Advanced Techniques: Curated Locations and Bumper Ads

Beyond the basic setup and optimization methods, you can also employ advanced techniques to intensify the efficiency of your location extensions. These include leveraging curated locations and using bumper ads with location extensions.

Curated locations are pre-selected chain stores from a list provided by Google. They are precise and current, and can save you the time and effort of manually inputting locations individually.

Bumper ads, on the other hand, are short video ads that last for a maximum of six seconds. They are designed to quickly capture the attention of viewers and increase brand awareness.

Leveraging Curated Locations

Leveraging curated locations can be a game-changer for your Google Ads location extensions, especially if you’re a large chain with multiple locations. By selecting curated locations, you can quickly set up location extensions for all your locations. This can save you a significant amount of time and ensure that the right locations are displayed in your ads.

Moreover, using curated locations can also help protect your agency’s data assets and simplify the process of adding supplementary details to your ads.

Bumper Ads with Location Extensions

Bumper ads with location extensions can significantly increase the visibility of your ads. These short, non-skippable videos can deliver a concise and impactful message while reaching a larger audience without disrupting their viewing experience. When combined with location extensions, bumper ads can provide users with immediate location information, enhancing visibility, and delivering relevant content.

This can lead to increased brand recognition, augmented ad visibility, localized advertising tailored to the target audience, and optimized ad performance.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges with Location Extensions

While location extensions can be a potent tool in your Google Ads toolkit, they can also pose some challenges. These may include linking issues between Google Ads and Business Profile, and inconsistencies in information across platforms. But don’t worry, Google provides ample resources and support to help you navigate these challenges and make the most of your location extensions.

Linking Issues Between Google Ads and Business Profile

One of the most common challenges you may face when setting up location extensions is linking issues between Google Ads and your Google Places account, which is connected to your Business Profile. If you have multiple Google Ads accounts, for instance, you may find it difficult to link them all to your Google My Business account. However, Google has made it easy to overcome this challenge. You can link the accounts under the same Google Ads manager account and use a single email associated with the multiple accounts.

Ensuring Consistent Information Across Platforms

Maintaining consistent information across platforms is another common challenge with location extensions. Inconsistencies can lead to confusion and inaccuracies in campaign performance measurement. To ensure consistency, it’s recommended to use the same business name, business address, and phone number (NAP) across both platforms.

Regularly reviewing and updating your business information on both platforms can also help maintain consistency and ensure accurate tracking.

The Role of Mobile Devices in Location Extension Strategy

Given the escalating use of mobile devices for online searches, it’s vital to acknowledge their role in your location extension strategy. According to Google, click-through rates can be increased by up to 10% with the use of location extensions. Moreover, mobile-friendly ad extensions can further optimize the performance of ads on mobile devices.

These extensions can include click-to-call buttons, location information, and app download links, allowing potential customers to interact with the ads on their mobile devices.

Mobile-Friendly Location Extensions

Mobile-friendly location extensions are designed to offer an improved user experience on mobile devices. They not only provide users with immediate location information but also increase the visibility of your ads.

By incorporating Google Maps into your Google Ads location extensions, your ads will display your address and a map to your location, providing users with a visual representation of your business location and additional information.

Click-to-Call Functionality

Another feature that can enrich the user experience on mobile devices is the click-to-call functionality. This feature enables users to directly initiate a call to a business by clicking on a designated phone number in an advertisement. This can facilitate customer engagement, generate more phone leads, and enhance conversion rates.

So, if you’re looking to make it easier for your customers to contact your business, the click-to-call functionality is a feature you should definitely consider implementing.


Location extensions in Google Ads are a powerful tool that can help local businesses reach their potential customers and improve their ad performance. By understanding the importance of location extensions, setting up your Google Ads account correctly, adding location extensions to your campaign, and optimizing them, you can harness the potential of this feature to boost your ad presence. Moreover, by considering the role of mobile devices in your location extension strategy and implementing features like click-to-call functionality, you can enhance the user experience and further increase the effectiveness of your location extensions. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start leveraging the power of location extensions in your Google Ads campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do location extensions work on Google Ads?

Location extensions on Google Ads allow you to add your business address and phone number to your ads for enhanced visibility. This gives you the opportunity to add a local touch to your campaigns with your business name, address, phone number, and a link to get directions.

When should you use a location extension over an affiliate location extension?

For manufacturers who sell through major retail chains, Affiliate Location Extension is the best choice; however, for businesses advertising their own location, Location Extension is the more suitable choice.

What are the benefits of location extensions?

Location extensions offer an enhanced user experience, allowing customers to quickly connect with your business by clicking a click-to-call button or getting directions.

How do I dynamically add a location to Google Ads?

To dynamically add a location to Google Ads, select the option for dynamic location insertion in the ad text. Select the type of location you want to highlight and enter a default text if the specific location cannot be displayed.

What role do mobile devices play in a location extension strategy?

Mobile devices play an important role in a location extension strategy, as mobile-friendly ad extensions provide users with immediate location information and increase the visibility of your ads.

About Preston Toor
Preston, the founder and co-owner of Results Digital, brings nearly a decade of rich experience in the digital marketing realm. His journey began in the world of WordPress web design, swiftly transitioning into the intricacies of SEO and Google Ads. His tenure at two prominent digital marketing agencies equipped him with invaluable insights and expertise in website design, SEO, and Google Ads management. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep-seated passion for elevating businesses, Preston ventured to establish Results Digital. His commitment is rooted in guiding businesses to achieve unprecedented growth and success. On a lighter note, Preston’s admiration for Obi-Wan Kenobi, his favorite Jedi, mirrors his approach to digital marketing – wise, strategic, and always focused on the greater good. This is subtly reflected in his bio picture, a nod to his personal interests and character.