This no doubt comes as welcome news to the types of small businesses that have a sign atop the door of their walk-in store. An internal study at Waze revealed that advertisers have, on average, enjoyed 20.4 % more walk-in visits (navigations) to their premises per month after starting with Waze ads.

Waze is a maps app and GPS navigation system for mobile devices, which launched back in 2006 under the name FreeMap Israel, by Israeli company Waze Mobile, and has since seen steady growth in its user base.

Their latest big move was to publish Waze Local, an advertising system. The noteworthy point would be the affordability of advertising for small, local businesses, which starts at a trivial $2 per day, and only increments up when your business has more than ten locations toward which to attract traffic.

The four types of ads available are:

Branded Pins:

(similar to promoted pins on Google maps)

Promoted Search:

(similar to AdWords Text ads)

Zero-Speed Takeovers:

(a banner that shows when your car stops)


(signpost shown upon opening the app)

Why should you care?

Waze has done well in terms of user acquisition & retention over its lifetime. During 2012, Waze found itself among the most downloaded apps on the Apple App Store, and grew its user base from 20 to 40 million in the same year. To date that figure has soared to over 100 million, which was most likely influenced by Google’s purchase of the innovative product in 2013 for a cool $1 billion.

What separates this GPS nav software apart from the rest of its kind, you ask?

In this author’s opinion it would be the facility for users to report events such as traffic accidents, fuel prices and more via the app, and how those reports are shared to other users that are approaching the relevant area; a very original idea. It was probably this uniqueness, along with the accompanying gained market share that attracted Google to snatching up the app in the first place.

While Waze has its own team creating the advertising experience – AdWords are not running this show – the introduction of affordable ads to a wide small business market is the kind of master-stroke that got AdWords to where it is today.

We’re very eager to see how quickly the move accelerates the growing reach of the Waze mobile app.


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