Google’s Local Featured Listings

For long, small and local business have struggled to effectively capitalize on search engine promotion, be it organic or paid promotion. Blame it on the ever increasing competition and efforts required to achieve and maintain healthy organic rankings or the complexity and intricacies involved in running a fruitful paid search campaign. On top of this, cost has always acted as an impediment.Way back in 2007, Google promised to change things and launch a simplified version of AdWords. The program was aptly named as ‘Simply Ads’. This program was meant to turn things around and make lives much easier for small businesses who did not have the luxury of time to setup and manage AdWords or did not want to get caught in it. Though this program never came into being, at least until now, Google has introduced a derivative of this concept in the form of Google Local Listing Ads.Google’s Local Listing Ads program has a high degree of similarity with Yahoo’s Local Featured Listings. Rumor has it that Yahoo has tasted great success with this particular program and it is not unlikely of any business to clone a successful model. It appears Google is trying to do the same.Local Listing Ads is accessible under the “Ads” tab in Google Local Business Center and getting started is quick and simple. However, in order to participate in this program businesses will have to have a verified/claimed listing in Local Business Center, which again is easy to do. Make sure to include your website’s URL, business contact number and category while creating your Local Business Center listing to reap full benefits. From hereon, the process is fairly automated.Google is offering a flat fee pricing (varies by category and location) and a 30 day free trial period, which by all means is a reasonable way to start. Unlike Google AdWords, the Ad copy is created by Google from information provided in your Local Business Center listing. There is no keyword research and bidding involved since the Ad is triggered based on the category of your business and the pricing is fixed. In addition to this, Google is offering free call tracking and this piece of information will come in handy for doing ROI calculation.¬† In short, every thing seems nice and easy.Automated Ad creation and flat pricing structure virtually means zero work on part of small businesses. They are gonna love it but the success of this program will¬† lie in its adoption at large. But with Google not aggressively promoting it, the potential that ‘Local Listing Ads’ promises could fail to materialize.

» Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.