Can you imagine life without Google? How about life without Google Maps (images of Apple Maps are flashing in my head - shudder!)? The world pretty much can't live without some service that Google has created, and that's something that the company knows very well.
Guess what has just happened to Google Maps? Maps now come with advertisements. But, before you get all angry about ads on Google Maps, let's discuss the types of ads that Google has been adding to Maps - I promise, it's kind of a good thing for the small business world!
Ads for Small Businesses
Now when you search for a destination in Google Maps, a small purple content box will appear. Inside that box are paid advertisements. Correspondingly, the icon on a Google Map will appear purple instead of red, to let you know that the purple destination point is the advertised destination. Here's where it gets good.
When a user taps that purple icon, more information about a business will appear. Users will see coupons, deals, and basic details about a business all from one tap or touch. Google Map ads can be great for small businesses because they let a business speak directly to a consumer that's looking for a specific place.
For example: a consumer might be looking for a bakery on Smith Avenue, and four red bakeries pop up in addition to one purple one. If that user taps on the purple one, they can see discounts and details about that baker right away. This brings target marketing to a whole new level, and it's a great way for a business to lure in some new clients.
Costs and Details
There's just one caveat: business owners should fully understand how to use Google's payment system before setting up an ad or two on Maps. Google has a complete run down of how their advertising system works, and there are plenty of materials available that explain this system completely. Plus, Google lets you target specific keywords using the company's keyword tool.
Just keep in mind that popular search terms tend to be eaten up quickly, and the more popular a keyword is the more expensive that word will be to bid on - and companies can outbid each other, so you may have some touch competition if you live in a popular area.
Another tactic may be to target one niche item that you see, and get people to look at your business based on that item (eventually, they can see everything else you have for sale). Even though the Maps advertising competition will be rough, it's still a great way for a small business to connect directly with consumers.
Google Maps advertisements will be available through Google today, and you can set up an ad for Maps right away by building a Google business account. If you run a small business, take a look at what Google is offering. Chances are that you will like what you see! Got comments or questions? Ask away!