Google Unveils New Local Search Advertising Platform Called Local Listing Ads
Greg Sterling has articulated the details of Google’s new program to help local online marketers with a simple, easy to deploy advertising platform. The new platform is called Local Listing Ads and the
offering is currently available in only San Francisco and San Diego.
From Greg’s article on Search Engine Land:
- These are new ad units that will appear both on Google.com (above the “10 Pack”) in local results and in Google Maps. They will not therefore compete with AdWords
- They will not carry any creative, just business name and contact details — and a link/URL
- The URL in the ad can be directed to Place Pages (confirming this earlier speculation from last week) or to a website
- The ads are priced on a flat-fee basis (but prices vary by market and category). Google would not disclose the range, but I believe they begin at $20 per month and may go up to $200 or more dollars. But they’re experimenting with pricing. The first month is free.
- To participate the business must have a verified presence in the Google LBC
It is now clear that Google Place Pages will serve as a landing page for small business owners that do not yet have a professional web presence, but want to advertise on local searches in Google. Here is an example:
Unlike Google AdWords, Local Listing Ads require no management of the ad creative, keywords, bidding, or budget management. After selecting a standard category that best describes your business, Google determines the cost that ensures the ad is seen by the highest number of people looking for businesses like yours in your location. The first month is free, and then you will be charged a flat monthly fee.
The Local Listing Ads program will also provide some conversion analytics, such as phone calls, clicks, and requests for driving directions. Local Listing Ads also will offer free call tracking numbers with a short announcement such as “this caller brought to you by Google,” before each forwarded call.
Look for the finished Local Listing Ads product to dominate the local search landscape for small business, eating up market share from Google AdWords Reseller platforms like ReachLocal and Yodle. Will Google make the platform functional for brands with hundreds or thousands of locations nationwide?