(The cost for Google Maps ads is determined by AdWords quality score, bids and is different for every local area) 

There is no such thing as Google Maps advertising without AdWords.  In order to play in the Google Maps ads world, you will need an AdWords account.  You will manage your Google Maps budget, clicks etc. through your AdWords account.

Why Is Advertising In Google Maps Important?

Google searchers are getting smarter every day.  For instance,  someone looking for a dentist doesn’t want to waste time researching the perfect dentist only to find out the dental office is too far from their home or office.  Instead, many people will rely on Google maps to find dental practices nearby.

Where Is The Option For Google Maps In AdWords

So, this is crazy but there is not a direct option to advertise on Google maps in AdWords.  Most companies would say “hey, want to advertise in our maps? easy click here, give us money, done.”

Not Google.  There is no direct way to just start advertising in Google Maps or what is known as the Google Map or Google 3 Pack.

What Does A Business Need To Show Up On Google Maps?

1)  Set Up Google My Business

2) Link Your AdWords Account With Your Google My Business Listing

3) Enable Location Extensions

How To Set Up Google My Business

Google My Business is a free listing service from Google.  First, you should check to see if a Google My Business listing is already set up by Googling your business name.  Make sure the listing is accurate and complete.

For instance, here’s the Google My Business listing for Google’s headquarters called the Googleplex.

You can add or change your Google My Business list here…  https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778

Learn more about setting up Google My Business in the video below created by Google.

How To Link Your Adwords Account to Google My Business

  • Sign in to your AdWords account.
  • Click the Ads & Extensions tab. Click Extensions at top of page 
  • Click Blue + Button (Ad Extension)

  • Click Location Extensions


  • Select the Option that says “Select A Google My Business Account” (You should see your account as long as you are signed in with the same login.

How Can Location Extensions Help AdWords Search?

Forget about Google maps for a minute.  Beyond Google Maps, it is a smart idea for local businesses like dental practices to use Location Extensions.

Location Extensions help make your Google ad more relevant and should help improve your click-through rate and AdWords quality score.  Also, when your Location Extension shows your business is too far away from a prospect, you will scare them away and not pay for the ad click. That’s a good thing.

When Will Your Ads Show Up in Google Maps, 3 Pack, etc.?

Not consistently is our best answer.  Just like you can not guarantee your Google Ad will show up in Google results.  You can not guarantee your ad will show up in AdWords.

However, you can make it more likely your ads will show up in AdWords if you have active campaigns with Google ads using the Location Ad Extensions.

A Simple Trick To Get Your Ads To Show Up On Google Maps More Often

Google seems to favor Call Only ads in Google Maps. With a Call Only ad, instead of clicking a link to a landing page, the Google searcher clicks a link on their mobile phone and automatically calls dental practice, pizza place or other local business.

You can learn more about setting up Call Only Google Ads For Mobile in the video below from Google.

Try setting up a Call Only ads in their own campaign.  Monitor results.  If you get conversions, try running more Call Only ads.  If not, consider adjusting the ad schedule.  For instance, an “AdWords Call Only” call to a dental office at 9:30 pm probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.

What is the cost of Advertising on Google Maps Via AdWords

Costs will be determined by daily budget, keyword bids, local competition and quality score.

Can Google Ads Be Set Up Exclusively To Run On Google Maps?

No. There is no way to run Google ads exclusively on Google Maps.  Instead, when set up correctly your Google ads with Location Extensions enabled will sometimes show up in Google Maps.  (not guaranteed!)  Think of Google Maps advertising as a perk for Adwords advertisers.

Getting Your Ad On Google Maps is An AdWords Power User Trick!

Getting your ad to consistently show on Google Maps is a great tool to find customers your competitors might never hear from.

Because the process is not straightforward, many of your competitors are unlikely to ever figure out how to get their ads on Google Maps.   That means it will be less competitive and more affordable for your business. (advantage you!)

Learn more about Local Search Ads directly from Google https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3246303?hl=en

Interested in learning about more smart ways to use AdWords Extensions? Check out our blog post about Message Extensions.

ConversionSmiles is Online Marketing Agency For Dentists.