Google Upgrades Local Biz Ads

Matt McGee (at SEL) has a nice write up of some of the changes and upgrades Google is introducing for Local Business Ads. Here’s the Inside AdWords Blog explaining the improvements:

Beginning today, your ad’s information window in Google Maps will feature new interactive links that are designed to connect users to your business quickly. The info window is the window that opens when a user clicks on an organic search listing or a sponsored result on Google Maps.

Previously, a click on your ad’s info window could only take the user to your website. Now, users will be able to interact with the info window to get the information they’re looking for about your business, right away. The new links include “Get Directions,” “Street View” (where available), and “Save to My Maps.” Shortly after we implement these links, we’ll also add a “Send” link, allowing the user to send your business info to their phone or email. Users will still be able to click through to your site if they wish — the info window simply offers additional free functionality.

Google is also going to add reporting capabilities to the info window as well:

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If one opens the “more info” link there’s additional information, including “photos and video” (which can be uploaded from YouTube):

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I’m guessing that video will become much more prominent in the future. We might even see Google make it possible (for advertisers) to feature video where the logo is on the “home screen.”

Effectively Local Business Ads are a rich landing page and could even be used (if they had their own URLs) as a website substitute. Indeed, Google is shutting down its simple website “Page Creator” in favor of Google Sites, which probably has less utility for many SMBs. Instead Google might consider a modified version of its info window/Local Biz Ads as a substitute for Page Creator (a la Smalltown’s Webcards).

3 Responses to “Google Upgrades Local Biz Ads”

  1. Hal Rucker Says:

    There are some fundamental similarities between Google’s SMB ads and Smalltown’s Webcard universal listings. But some notable differences include:

    – It’s really, really easy for an SMB to create and change their own Webcard, including posting daily specials and promotions.

    – Webcards already include video, photo galleries and coupons. New features like call tracking, voice messaging and appointment calendars are soon to come.

    – Most importantly, a Webcard is truly a “create once, publish anywhere, change often” marketing asset. This means the SMB creates one Webcard master that can be published on a variety of platforms. If the Webcard appears on an iPhone, its format is automatically changed to fit on the iPhone screen. It the Webcard is used as a Google Gadget Ad, it is also reformatted to fit Google’s IAB standards. The same trick is true for online directories, banner ads and point of purchase video displays.

    Hal Rucker
    http://www.smalltown.com

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Hal: Google’s info windows aren’t really a website substitute. It just occurred to me that something could be developed. I don’t think that Google will do that however.

  3. Google Map Ads Showing Up On Merchant Circle | Local SEO Guide Says:

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