Waze advertising versus Google Maps advertising

Waze Advertising Versus Google Maps Advertising

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder

November 8, 2022 | 5 Min Read

Article updated on May 2, 2023

What’s the purpose of Waze advertising? Google Maps advertising? Over one billion people use Google Maps to find addresses, view areas, and check traffic. Those businesses are profiting off the huge audience looking for places to go and deals to get. People often have a map open when they’re driving whether they use Waze or Google Maps. It’s not just for directions. Waze advertising and Google Maps ads give businesses another populated platform to build brand awareness, increase consideration, and boost sales. Check out these statistics:
  • Around 84 percent of users perform local searches meaning they’re looking for a product or service near them, they just have to be able to find it.
  • Every year, Google searches send users to one and a half billion destinations. The traffic is already there. Time to profit from it.
  • Three out of four users will visit a store within a day if they’ve searched for it on their phones. Of those searches, 28 percent result in a purchase.
  Find out how to advertise with Google Maps and Waze ads today.

Waze advertising

Waze isn’t as widely used as Google Maps but it’s close. Most businesses use Google My Business, so Google Maps isn’t too much of a stretch. However, marketing is all about being where the market is and a big chunk of the market uses Waze. Don’t forget, the competition is likely already using Google Maps, so if possible, use both.

What is Waze advertising?

Waze is an app that users can use for directions and business information. On the business side, owners can use Waze app advertising to promote their location and deals to nearby users. Waze marketing is done using four ad types.

1. Search

Waze search ads are the result of a user searching for a business and then seeing a promoted ad similar to their search, like paid searches on SERPs. If a user is searching for a fast food restaurant, for example, the search ad type would promote your fast food business first.

2. Pins

Pins are another method of advertising on Waze. Pins will pop up on the screen that the user is using for directions to highlight a business nearby. Along with the pin, users can easily tap their screen to see the business information and any promotions they might be offering to entice them to stop by during their ride.

3. Takeovers

Takeover ads will show up on the screen when the vehicle is at a full stop. A banner will drop down on the screen when the user’s focus is at its highest. Takeovers can prompt immediate action like setting a reminder or getting directions to that business.

4. Arrows

Similarly to pins, arrows show a nearby business that might be a little outside the area the screen covers. An arrow can easily direct users to the business since it will always be nearby. That way, consumers can start to recognize where the businesses that they enjoy are in relation to their day-to-day routine. With all Waze ads, users are offered five primary actions to take. Wave advertising examples include the option to to drive there, call now, save the location, save for later, or save an offer. Either way, users are given powerful CTAs to start their journey through the sales funnel.

Google Maps advertising

Advertising with Google Maps is essential to remain competitive and top-of-mind.

How to advertise your business on Google Maps

Like Waze, there are four Google Maps ads that can be leveraged, although they’re not the same four options.

1. Desktop

One of the main differences between Waze ads and Google Maps ads is that Google also offers a resource before the phone application. It has a desktop feature that users can use before they’ve even left the house to find out what their planned outing is and be inspired to add stops to it based on business promotions they might come across.

2. Promoted pins

Even if a user hasn’t searched for it, pins will pop up in Google Maps to draw users’ attention to a nearby business. This increases visibility and inspires foot traffic by highlighting the business’s location.

3. Search results adverts

If users search for something in Google Maps, search results adverts will also display other relevant options. The business information will be displayed to the user, along with its rating.

4. In-store promotions

This ad type will highlight in-store business promotions on the business account, visible to users when they search for something related. An in-store promotion can inspire users to visit to claim their promotion when they might not have had that intent originally.

Advertising with Google Maps or Waze: the breakdown

Ideally, a business should use both Waze ads and Google Maps ads to reach the entirety of its audience and maintain a competitive advantage. Most businesses are using at least one of these platforms. Not all use both. However, whether the intention is to use just one of these platforms, or use both in the most efficient way possible, here are factors to look out for.

Ease of setup

The Waze setup is fast, easy, and guided. However, if a business is already set up on Google AdWords and Google My Business, then setting up ads is fairly quick and simple. Whether or not Waze is used, it’s a good idea to create a Google My Business profile to improve a business’s visibility. It’s a free service and enhances local SEO ranking, making local search ads on Google easier.

App usage

Only Waze app users will see Waze advertising and the same with Google Maps ads. Google has an advantage here as its ads can be found through the app or on a desktop. Waze is heavily focused on drivers, whereas Google Maps can also apply to users walking, bussing, or biking. The use of the two platforms depends on the target market and the goals of the business.


Waze ads are best suited to immediate needs. They’re seen by people who are ready to go or are already driving. The ability of Google Maps ads to show on desktop and mobile searches means it can capture an audience at an earlier stage in the customer journey. For more impulsive/immediate services, such as a gas station, this is not as necessary. For a product like a car where users tend to do more research, it’s beneficial to capture them earlier.  

Payment methods

Waze and Google Maps have different ways of charging for ad services. Waze uses CPM (charging per 1,000 ad impressions). Google Maps charges by engagement. Waze requires payment to show ads, whereas Google Maps only requires payment when a user has engaged with the ad. 

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Digital Marketing, Mobile SEO, PPC, SEO

Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder at Pedestal Search

Aaron Levenstadt

CEO & Founder

Aaron Levenstadt completed his degree in Statistical & Data Science at Stanford University. That focus has given him an unparalleled data-driven approach to search engine digital marketing. Prior to founding Pedestal Search, Aaron worked at Google at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View California. At Google he worked on the Organic Search, Paid Search and Google Analytics products, which equipped him with extensive knowledge of the mechanisms driving Google’s algorithm and other internet search engines.