Google is testing Local Inventory Ads (LIA) in place of their normal ‘local pack’, as LIAs are now appearing in mobile search results.
LIA’s showcase products and store information to potential customers who are searching with Google. When customers click an LIA, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront. Searchers can use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, find directions, and get store information and hours.
The primary advantage of Google’s LIAs is they make it easier for online shoppers to identify inventory available in a company’s local store. Essentially, an LIA provides more meaningful results to a shopper than a typical local pack display would. And since LIA results show store inventory, the ads are often more compelling than standard local pack results.
Google has been experimenting with ads in Google Maps for the past several years, but now they appear to be aiming for more branded and customized experiences for searchers using local search. The company has been showing ads in the Local Finder but also is now adding promoted pins on Maps. These pins will show users branded pins along their route or nearby.
It has also been noted that Google has recently added LIA data in Maps and Knowledge Panels with inventory search capabilities including a “Search Items at this store “feature found in both the Knowledge Panel and the Maps area.
All of these initiatives indicate that Google is introducing the next generation of local search ads, and as a result, is testing out several options.
As a Detroit Internet Marketing Agency, AQABA Technologies has a vested interest in marking and measuring any changes or updates that Google rolls out. As a Detroit SEO Agency and as a Google AdWords Certified Partner. we pay close attention to any changes that affect SEO and PPC as well. We will continue to track changes made by Google and will report them in future blog posts.