Google Local Business Listing Ads

Until the invention of the Local Business Listings Google had two sets of results, AdWords and natural. Placing some ads around the natural listings was a perfectly acceptable thing to do but Google is limited by the number of ads they can show due to the size of the page. Adding 4 or 5 ads at the top simply wasn’t going to help the user experience.

Fast forward a few years and Google invented the Local Business Listings and suddenly started displaying them for one in every 13 searches (and virtually all the time for geographical searches).

This is probably the cleverest move by Google since the launch of AdWords 10 years ago because it gives Google a 2nd area of the page to fill with ads and a huge ready made inventory of impressions and advertisers – in any competitive industry every single result in the Local Business Listings will become “enhanced” overnight.

Google has always been very much against having paid listings within the natural results but it seems that they are more than happy to have paid listings appearing within the Local Business Listings and on the listing pages.

Google Local ads

The introduction and subsequent monetising of the Local Business listings is one of the cleverest online advertising moves of the last five years. Nothing will top Facebook Ads which allow advertisers to pay to drive traffic from one Facebook page to another but this comes a close second.

Below are some more details from Google about the program:

What are the benefits?

  • You can easily and inexpensively highlight your listing on Google Maps and Google.com from the Local Business Center.
  • Potential customers in your local area will see what you think is most important or unique about your business.
  • You can track the effectiveness of your enhancement with your Local Business Center dashboard.
  • You will be charged a low $25 flat monthly fee, with no bids and no keywords required.
  • There is no additional work or ongoing management needed.
  • What enhancements can I use?
  • You can decide what type of enhancement you’d like to show with your business listing. You can only pick one at a time, but you can change or remove the enhancement whenever you’d like.

You can select any of the following enhancements:

  • Website for your business.
  • Photos of your business.
  • Videos of your business.
  • Coupons for your listing.
  • Menu for your restaurant.
  • Reservations page for your business.
  • Driving directions to your business.
By Patrick Altoft. at 9:57AM on Tuesday, 02 Feb 2010

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul Aguiar

    Nice post.. don’t know how to get this to benefit my blog.. but Great for brick and mortar biz

  • http://www.organicvisits.com/ Organic Visits

    This is Good for G Adword Professional to get more clicks…

  • http://www.iihnordic.dk Henrik

    Hey,
    Do you control Google maps ads from LBC or AdWords center?

    • http://www.blogstorm.co.uk Patrick Altoft

      Not sure Henrik.

  • http://www.seansupplee.com seansupplee

    Nice post, although I do not have a business building as of yet this is a great way to get it out there to the public. Just adding small additions to get your business out there can bring in more potential customers.

  • http://www.perl-resume.com Chris

    Yes this gives everyone an equal chance. Plus since the listings are phone verified, it gives some authenticity too.

  • http://scotlandsonlinemarketingexpert.blogspot.com/ Craig Dunn

    Just to echo Patrick’s article. This is a great method of getting traffic to a website or getting phone calls to a sales hotline. With careful management it can bring in some really good leads – depending on your market place. As far as I’m aware however, the results are in location relevance order. So the closer they are to where you are, or the centre of the town/city you put in your search term, the higher they appear on the list of local ads results. A good way of getting round this is hire a PO Box in the centre of town.

    Craig D Dunn
    Scotland’s
    Online Digital Marketing Expert

  • Pingback: Weekly Search & Social News: 02/09/2010 | Search Engine Journal()

  • http://www.amplifiedit.com Tim Lee

    Great Article, it is a shame though that Agency access to Google LBC isn’t on the cards as yet. This would be a very useful to enable resellers to drive adoption and manage businesses accounts.

    Other great features recently added in the UK include Coupons and Events which are fantastic across most public facing businesses.

    @craig D Dunn – PO Box addresses will not be accepted on Google LBC as far as I’m aware.

  • http://www.usedcarsinkerala.com kerala used cars

    My website comes at the 2nd place when searching USED CARS IN KERALA in google. But the buisness listing in the 3rd page.I made many reviews to my link on buisness listings. Still its on the 3rd page. Can any one please to tell me how come i can each ma site to 3rd to first

  • http://libertytravel.com travel

    yeah I think google local results is a great way to spread the wealth vs people who know how to win major kw phrases

  • http://fixmybrokenwebsite.com SEO Wales

    In the last couple of weeks I have had several meetings with website designers. What I found out shocked and surprised me. They know next to nothing about getting your website ranked highly in the search engines!

    It’s worth taking the time to learn how to get your business ranked high on Google- if you outsource it, you can check what the seo guy is doing- if you do it yourself, you can save some money- good post

  • http://www.seowebexpert.co.uk SEO Cardiff

    Local search is now pretty much a seperate entity from normal search. There’s a whole different emphasis on how to rank well. If you are targeting local clients then you really must spend time on optimising your Google Places listing.

  • http://fatlosingdiet.com Most Effective Diet

    I would have never believed 10 years ago that a search engine could become such a force that google is. Like it or not, they control the majority of the internet. JMHO

  • http://www.digital-online-marketing.com Google Local Business Listings

    You have to optimise for local search now, because Google are introducing the vertical search into natural organic listing more and more as time goes on, this is a good opportunity to monopolise on for business looking to drive local traffic into footfall