Google Hosted Local Storefront : LIA
Google has been steering advertisers for years now towards the Merchant Hosted Local Storefront, even providing them with 2 options - Basic and Full. Here, we will be covering details around the rarely talked about Google Hosted Local Storefront (GHLSF) . While these are uncommon in today’s SERP, the reality is that there are many advertisers who could likely benefit from this. These are advertisers that can’t meet Google’s requirements even for the “Basic” edition of the Merchant Hosted Local Storefront (MHLSF).
When is Google Hosted Local Storefront right for you?
- You do have Google Business Account set up for your stores
- You have up to date product inventory by store
- You don't have a website (or maybe don't sell products on your site).
- Your site's product pages (PDPs) don't have any local/store information (price/availability by location) at all
- Your PDPs don't have the ability for a customer to select their store to see updated prices/availability for the item or the site is not able to automatically populate location price/availability from the "store_code" URL parameter
- Your website doesn’t meet the requirements for either Basic or Full Merchant Hosted Local Storefront solutions
- Impressions, Clicks, CPC, CTR : All the usual front end metrics are still included here
- Store Visits : This metric, which is strongly recommended for using as a KPI for drive to store/local strategies, is still available and can be a powerful tool in utilizing Google’s bidding strategies.
- Get Directions : Users that have clicked on the diamond/arrow icon from the Google Hosted page will be available to see in reporting, down to the product level.
- Calls : Users that clicked on the phone icon from the Google Hosted page will be reported on.
- Clicks to the site : Anyone that clicked on the “Buy online” button and was directed to the website will be reported here
What does Google Hosted Local Storefront look like?
The Shopping ad itself on the SERP looks the same as all others but when a click occurs on the ad, it is quite different. Users are taken to a Google Hosted page with Google Maps showing and the store and product information. From here, the user can choose if they want to get directions, call the store, or they visit the site by selecting the “Buy online” button. The “Buy online” button in the Google hosted local storefront page will take the customer to the product page and Google will be taking this information from the ‘link’ attribute in the primary shopping feed.
What does this mean for tracking capabilities?
Google Ads still offers some tracking, but the ability to track onsite conversions or revenue (or any onsite activity) is lost. There may be other creative ways that third party (or even Google Analytics) tracking platforms can still track conversions/revenue for these ad clicks but just not within Google Ads.
What kind of metrics are still available within Google Ads for reporting?
Additional metrics from GHLSF available for paid shopping efforts can be set up in Google Analytics for:
Click here for more details on how to set this up.
Google Product Search Google Product Listing Ads Google Shopping Local Inventory Ads