10 May 2010

0 Google's Sponsored Local Listings – Is it right for You?

Sponsored local listings are nothing new. Citysearch and Yellow Pages have been offering them for years. But now search engine companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Recently Google announced it was expanding its “enhanced local listings” feature adding to Houston and San Jose, CA, its initial two trial markets. The enhanced listings are now available in Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco.

What is it?
Google's sponsored listings are essentially an opportunity to call attention to your business's local listing by tagging it. The cost for a sponsored listing is a flat monthly fee of $25. The business can choose from one of seven types of “tags” that are drawn from content in the Google Place listing. Throughout the month the business can change up the tag as many times as they want. Businesses can choose from:

Here are a few examples of what a sponsored listing would look like.

Is it Right for You?
With over 20 percent of Google’s online searches being done for local services, I think the new enhanced listings could be very beneficial to businesses, especially if you’re in a very competitive industry or market. Before jumping in head first and buying the tags, I recommend strategically thinking about what you want to accomplish and what sets you apart from the competition.

Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Does your website not show up on the first page of the organic listings? Then use the website “tag”. But it’s important to make sure your website is presenting the best face possible for your business. If your website is significantly dated or lacks in substance, you may be doing yourself more harm than good by calling attention to it. However, if you have an informative, aesthetically appealing website I highly recommend highlighting it.

Do you have custom video footage of your services or compelling client testimonials? Do you have a great deal running right now?  Do you notice that you spend a significant amount of time giving clients directions to your office? You may want to consider using one of the other tags instead. Google tracks the number of clicks your tag receives so you’re able to track the effectiveness of the tag you use through the Google Place dashboard. You can easily switch up the tag you use from month to month to see which is most effectively meeting your goals.


Post a Comment: