Drive foot traffic with Google AdWords

Online businesses are booming and e-commerce stores are growing year-on-year, but there is still a need for local foot traffic for many businesses to survive. If your business depends on actual customers visiting your space, you can still use Google AdWords to your advantage.

Many customers prefer visiting actual locations when they shop, rather than using online stores, because they are able to inspect the goods in person before purchasing them. It also negates the cost of shipping and the time spent waiting for the product to arrive.

Customers tend to research products online, but purchase offline – a trend that marketers term ROPO. These are habits of shoppers who like to find the best deals before committing to a decision.

There are a few tools that you can use on Google AdWords to make your store location or office space more visible to local customers. Increase foot traffic through your doors by implementing the following AdWord steps:

Enable the location ad extension

It’s important to include your physical address on all your online adverts, and there is a tool on AdWords that makes this easy. The location ad extension will display your address in any of your online adverts.

Not only will this tell your audience where to find you, but it will give them a sense of comfort knowing that they are buying from a physical store. If anything is not satisfactory, they know where to find you.

An easy way to go about this process is to visit the Google My Business homepage and search for your company. If it exists, you can claim it and put in your contact details and address. If you can’t find your company, then you’ll have to verify it with Google.

Once your Google My Business account is up to date, you can link it to an AdWords account where you can create the location ad extension. Once the extension is enabled, your business address will appear in your adverts.

Enable the promotion extension

If you run any specials or promotions, make the customers aware of them by using the AdWords promotion extension. The promotion ad extension displays your current discounts in your online adverts.

When someone Googles your business or your keywords, your promotions will show up in the results list. You can also add promo codes or minimum order values to your promotions. You are even able to target specific devices, such as smartphones or tablets.

If you schedule your promotions for peak times, you will see a higher click-through rate for your website. The promotion extension can be enabled in the ‘Ads and Extensions’ tab in your AdWords account.

When setting up a promotion, you can choose the occasion (such as Valentine’s Day), the promotion type, enter the specific details about the sale and choose the dates that the promotion will be in effect. You are also able to target specific times to further optimise your promotion.

Note that the promotion extension is only available on the new AdWords interface. Running promotions and sales will increase foot traffic through your door as people love discounts and limited offers on their favourite products.

Enable the click-to-message extension

You can offer your customers the ability to instantly communicate with you by enabling this extension. Google states that 65% of consumers prefer to use messaging methods when scheduling appointments.

The click-to-message extension adds a link in your adverts that connects consumers to your messaging service, be it SMS, email or WhatsApp. You can increase foot traffic by giving your customers the option to send a message rather than a call to book reservations and appointments.

This feature is particularly useful for restaurants, medical suites and hair salons, but any business that operates on scheduled appointments can benefit too. Not everyone likes phoning, especially the younger generations.

When setting up the message extension, you’ll be asked to enter your contact number and the automated reply that you want customers to receive. AdWords will also show you your message reporting analytics that tracks the performance of your campaign. It will show you how often users message your business after seeing your online adverts.

Optimise your adverts

Google AdWords lets you optimise your adverts so that you can target specific users or traffic times. You can optimise for your store’s opening hours, meaning that adverts will only display when your store is open. Alternatively, you can optimise for peak traffic times, when most of your target audience is online.

You want your adverts to be seen by the right audience at the right time to make your marketing budget more effective. This means you want to make your advert targeting as useful as possible by completing the scheduling set-up.

To schedule adverts, you need to create an ad campaign in AdWords. Once completed, navigate to your ‘Campaigns’ tab and choose the desired one. Next, click on ‘Ad Schedule’ and choose the times and days that you want the ad to appear on Google. It is best to know when your peak times are so that you can match the advert with your organic searches.

Complete your schedule and keep an eye on its performance so that you can make any changes in needs be. Also, note what days and times you receive the highest foot traffic and see if it coincides with your ad schedule.

Use geo-targeting adverts

Geo-targeting your adverts can drive foot traffic to your store by identifying your ideal consumer’s location via their IP address, WiFi or GPS data. It allows your company to track customer behaviours based on their location.

You can target your adverts to internet users nearest to your physical address, or if you have a store in an airport, for example, you can target travellers passing through. You can even target consumers by income.

To set up geo-targeting, select a campaign in your AdWords account. Next, click on the ‘Settings’ tab and find the ‘Locations’ drop-down menu. Then, click on ‘Advanced Search’ and enter the postal code of the area you want to target, or choose a street and select the radius of your geo-targeting.

Ideally, these postal codes or areas should be near your business to attract the closest customers. You can even exclude certain locations from your targeting. Once you’re happy, click ‘Target’ and ‘Save’ to finish the setup. You are allowed to target more than one location.

Local inventory ads

Google Shopping revenue increased by 64% from 2016 to 2018, which shows that more and more retailers are using Google Shopping as an advertising platform. Google uses local inventory adverts and Google Shopping to serve users who prefer ROPO.

When a user clicks on your advert, they’re taken to a Google page for your business. Here, they can find your inventory, opening hours, directions and promotions. These local inventory ads let you synchronise your stock in real-time so that customers can see if you have stock available.

Putting your business online and using the local inventory ad option allows you to target online customers and physically drive them through your door. To set up local inventory ads, you’ll need a Merchant Centre account, an AdWords account and a Google My Business account.

For the sake of brevity, here’s a handy guide to setting up local inventory ads. When internet users search for a relevant product, your advert will show up in the search results page. They’ll be able to see if you have stock, where you’re located and how to contact you.

Use these six tips to encourage online users to visit your store and make purchases on-site. They are relatively simple to set up and once you have your Google My Business and Google AdWords accounts updated, you’ll see a real increase in foot traffic and organic searches.


Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.


Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.


Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.


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