Google Sept. 3 said it has added the ability for advertisers to attach several business addresses to its AdWords location extensions for Android-based smartphones.
Launched in July, AdWords location extensions let members of Google's Places program put their businesses' location and phone number on an expandable map ad for mobile Websites and applications in Google's content network.
At the time, advertisers could attach ads for a business on a Google Map. This extension lets users searching for locations on a Google Map from Apple's iPhone or Google Android-based smartphones see banner text ads with a business icon.
The store icon expands to show the business location on a Google map along with the ad, click-to-call phone number and directions.
Google added AdWords location extensions with multiple addresses for desktops in July. Now establishments with multiple retail addresses can attach addresses for each of their stores on the Google Maps for Mobile application.
Users of Google Maps for Mobile 4.4 and later searching for businesses on their Android smartphones will see ads for several locations. Google is working to bring this multiple address capability to the iPhone, BlackBerry and other mobile platforms.
This practice should boost the profile of franchises with more than one location, according to Google Mobile Ads Product Manager Surojit Chatterjee, who noted in a blog post:
"If a potential customer is looking for a wireless communications store like Sprint, an ad within [Google Maps for Mobile] can display all Sprint locations near them. This not only delivers a relevant search experience, but also enables customers to visit the closest and most convenient Sprint store location."
What Chatterjee doesn't acknowledge is that surfacing more locations on Google Maps for Mobile means showing more ads, thereby boosting the company's coffers.
Chatterjee explained that AdWords gauges user search and location signals to display a clickable banner with the option to show all locations for a business in Google Maps for Mobile.
When users click the "show all" button in Google Maps, the map will show only locations of the business, denoting them with a business icon.
When users click on a specific business location, they will see more details about the business, including the search ad, business address, directions, and the option to click to call or access the Website.
The business icon and location are automatically saved as a layer in Google Maps for Mobile for return visits by the user.
Businesses must enable location extensions within their Google Places account. Search Engine Land has more details here.