New Google Local Feature- Easy or Tricksy?
Google Local and Yahoo Local search products are often under-used as an online marketing tactic. With Google, the basic Google maps listing is free and businesses can input quite a bit of business information such as location, business hours, coupons and more. For those with a physical location, you’re crazy not to do it. This free listing can be a great way to get your business in front of searchers at the moment they are seeking your product locally. At the Google Local Business Center, Google will take you through the process of adding a listing. There’s also a great tutorial on Google Local Business Center: Adding Photos, Attributes, Maps Corrections & Stats on SearchEngineLand.com.
In the PPC realm, enhancing this listing with a custom map icon and ad text message is worthwhile because you don’t pay unless a user actually clicks through to your website. Now there’s a new benefit to going Local. A new feature called AdWords Local PlusBox allows extra lines in your text ad to appear in the search results page– IF you make the top of the page.
The newly introduced feature “displays more geographical information for a local business ad that appears in the top position above Google search results. When users see the Local PlusBox and click on it (see the ‘closed’ screenshot below), the ad expands to include a map, address, driving instructions, and phone number, in addition to the location name that appears beneath the last line of ad.”
Advertisers only pay when searchers click through to their website, not for the click that expands the map. (See ‘expanded’ screenshot)
Now, the trick is that your ad has to appear in the top of the results page. Google recommends increasing your ad quality to make it to the top of the page.
But wait just a second! Didn’t Google just change the formula for the top placements in August? Yes they did!
So, this means that if your ad has (1) a very good quality score, (2) your max bid is higher than the next guy, and (3) you have a PPC local business ad you can achieve the top positions with the new nifty expandable map box.
If this sounds like a lot of steps, you’re right it is. But for those with a physical location that drives business, this local strategy may be a need-to-have online marketing tactic.