In case you didn’t hear the news, the community buying site known as Groupon turned down Google’s offer to buy the company for a measly 6 BILLION dollars. However, missing out on this deal hasn’t stopped Google from reaching out to local businesses one bit.
If you’ve been following the news at all, Google has recently hired a few hundred employees to start calling small businesses in order to reach out to them to promote two of their latest products Google Tags and Google Boost. Google Tags is the ability for a small business to purchase a “tag” – a little yellow tag that shows up underneath their company name for local listings (whether next to the map or not). Here’s an example of a local roofing company in Lansing:
As you can see, these tags add just a little something extra to the listing which attempts to persuade searchers to click on that listing in hopes of finding a discount or special deal.
Google has also released what they have termed “Google Boost” which is a bit like Facebook’s advertising for a Fan Page. Google will now allow small businesses to advertise their local Google Places listings in the “ads” sections of their results. These ads will begin to show up based on the right combination of location and service terms (ex. Orlando, hair salon).
What’s most interesting about these new developments is that Google has actually hired people to call small businesses. This is a pretty new thing for Google since most of their efforts have been aimed at setting up great systems and letting the people come to them. Time will tell if this desperate move helps them gain the upper hand on Facebook’s Places pages.
So should you utilize Google Tags or Google Boost for your small business? Well, tons of people use local search every day to find businesses just like yours. Right now, Google Tags is probably more cost effective (at 25$/mo.) than Google Boost (which is based on how many other advertisers are targeting the same words). However, we would recommend you cover the first two steps of our Marketing Blueprint first. It highly recommended that you start your journey into internet marketing by utilizing Local Email Marketing and then combining it with Social Media to ensure that you are keeping all of the customers that you are bringing in already. Following these first two steps will ensure that any advertising dollars spent on Google Tags or Google Boost will get you the best ROI.