Google’s Local Online Advertising Pages For Small Business, ‘Look As Good As You Can’
The Google Local Business Center sent out their third newsletter last Friday. Instead of pointing out changes to prohibit spam in the Business Listing Quality Guidelines (Mike Blumenthal chart comparison, Matt McGee recap), the newsletter reflects on the features of Google Place Pages:
When Google and Google Maps users click to learn more about your business listing, they’ll now see a new layout, with new information that we think will make it easier for them to learn about – and decide to purchase from – your business.
We’re calling this new feature Place Pages for Google Maps, and it allows people to view your basic business information, ratings, reviews, related maps, nearby transit and even a look at your business on Street View in Google Maps – all in one snap shot view. Previously, users had to click through several tabs to get a good view at everything about your business.
With this enhanced page, we expect even more potential customers to be viewing these pages, so it’s especially important to make sure that your basic information is accurate, and that you’ve added enhanced content like coupons, photos, and hours (hint: it’s free to do all of this). We’ve made a short video featuring the Place Page of Kasa Indian Restaurant in San Francisco, to give you a closer look at what this means to your business.
To make sure your business’ Place Page looks as good as it can, update your content in your account at https://www.google.com/local/add.
Why the new layout?
Google’s directive is to make their new local advertising solution, Local Listing Ads, available to everyone, including small businesses that lack a professional website.
In other words, your business’ Google Place Page can be used as a landing page option for Local Listing Ads, and this solves the problem for small businesses that do not have a professional website; the Place Page will serve as their web presence.
Take, for example, a search for “San Diego hair salons.” Note the web addresses displayed for these two competing hair salons advertising on Local Listing Ads:
I do not recommend using your Place Page as a landing page for local online advertisements because you cannot control much of the content and competitive ads are granted full-on display above the fold.
Would you showcase your direct competitors in any other form of advertising?
Ideally you want to create a professionally designed landing page for local business with reflexive content (the content your prospective customers are searching for) and clear calls-to-action.