Google suggests brands get local for the holiday season.

The holiday season is a time for consumers to reunite with loved ones, but for brands, this time period is the final sales push before the new year. It’s important for marketers to embrace online tools that can put branded content in front of targeted consumers, and Google recently made changes to its location targeting feature and its location extensions option in AdWords that may help.

Two notable changes Google implemented to help marketers get local this holiday season provide brands with the chance to convert leads who are ready to buy. Traveling consumers, for example, might be behind in their holiday shopping, and these buyers may use their mobile devices in airports to make last-minute purchases. Google launched airport targeting to take advantage of this event and give businesses the ability to connect with prospects on mobile, tablet or laptop devices in more than 350 airports across the world.

Airport targeting helps promote mobile applications to airport travelers, position custom content in view and build brand awareness with mobile display ads. What’s more, marketers can analyze their efforts using Google’s geographic performance reports.

Another change that greatly helps brands better attract new customers is location extensions and sitelinkes on SERPs. This feature shows location extensions next to one-line sitelinks in text ads. Marketers can position their businesses in plain site on the web and target consumers who may be shopping right around the corner with this location-based ad option.Local extensionsGoogle’s improved location matching helps brands reach consumers based on postal codes in the United States. Google also clearly states that businesses with a niche audience can position their ads to customers who might not be located nearby or in the same postal code as the actual store. This can help smaller businesses remain engaged with their niche following.

While Google’s recent changes affect paid advertising campaigns, the upgrades support the greater need for localized content and demonstrate how geo-targeted media can appeal to a specific consumer audience. Content marketing, for example, should be crafted to the needs of buyers based on their locations because a product that might be in demand and popular on the East Coast may be unnecessary and nonessential in California. When a content strategy combines the advantages of both paid advertising and content creation, a brand’s ability to identify and nurture leads becomes easier throughout the entire process.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.