Up until the last few weeks, Google places has been a free tool for local businesses to promote their business. If you have not verified your business within Google Places you need to do that now (Start here -Google Places). If you have verified your listing within Google Places, the next step may be making use of Google’s newest concept – Tags. Here is what Google says about Google Places Tags:
Tags are yellow markers that allow business owners to promote important aspects of their businesses. Scroll over Tags on Google or click on the sponsored link to view coupons, photos, or other select features. Tags do not affect the rank of search results; they simply add more information when a particular user is searching.
If you are already on the Top 7 Box for your key search words and have a coupon or event your want to promote, spending $25.00 per month could be a no brainer. It is clear that Google is looking to make some money from the development of Google Places. Google is charging less then $1 a day to post a small ad of 22 characters under the short listing that appears next to the Business listing within the Top 7 Box on the Google Search Page.
To get the most out of those little yellow arrows you need to be in that Top 7Box. Knowing how we all want a deal, being able to mention discounts, events and coupons directly on the search results page is going to help you entice people call or click.
Google Places Tags used on Mobile Web Applications
With Nielsen’s latest study that 21% of all wireless subscribers in the U.S. now have smartphones, Google Maps being the 2nd most popular download (after Facebook) and Google is providing retailers the ability to include coupons as part of their location search results – You have a real winner for a great way to promote your business on cell phones.
For an example of how Tags works, enter “hair salon” as a Google search on your phone. (You do not have to type the location – Your phone knows where you are). At the top of the page you will see a Google local search result listing a number of hair salons in Washington DC, and one of the listings, Easel Hair Studio has a little yellow tag. When you tap the tag, which is clearly marked as a sponsored item, a coupon displays that you can present to the retailer for a savings.
I have not yet come across one of these ads yet in my own smartphone searches, but I will keep an eye out for them. I anticipate using this service to find coupons for my favorite bike shop in the near future.
Have you received a call from a Google sales person yet about this service? It may be happening soon. One of my clients got a call yesterday. You can get in touch with a customer service person at 800-838-7971. I just wish that there was someone at Google to talk to when you have a problem (One of my mantras is that there is no customer service at Google.)