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Google Launches New Ad Format for Local Businesses

Danny Goodwin
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Local businesses in San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago, can now access Google Boost, a beta AdWords program that auto-generates search ads to appear in Google's sponsored links section and Google Maps search results pages.

In addition to the basics -- company name, address, phone number, and website -- Google Boost ads could also include the number of reviews your business has received, an average star rating, and a link to your Google Places page. Have a look at this sample for [Asian restaurants San Francisco]:

googleboostad.png

Also, when a map appears in the results, a blue pin will help your business stand out from the other red pins.

To create an ad, you'll need a short business description, a web or Places page, your business categories, and a monthly budget. Google's system then automatically sets up your ad campaign and figures out the relevant keywords that will trigger your ad to appear on Google and Google Maps.

You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Basic ad performance data is available via the Google Places dashboard.

Other notes (via Understanding Google Maps & Local Search):

  • The wording for the ad is automatically extracted from the 200 character description, but the business can change it.
  • The ad only shows for categories that are in Google's category list. Custom categories won't show the ad.
  • The estimated clicks per month vary depending on market and categories selected.
  • There is a minimum of $50/month to start the program.
  • The only ad title allowed is the business name as defined in Places.
  • Apparently other formats will be made available.

SimilarWeb Search and traffic sourcing are both crucial to luring shoppers to your website. In this article, "2 Successful Holiday Strategies for Online Retail", you'll learn how to use a two-pronged approach for your holiday search campaigns that combine top keywords with the best referral sites. Data in this article comes from SimilarWeb.

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