Local search is an incredibly important part growing your service business.
It used to be that the biggest ad on the page in the Yellow Pages got most of the calls, but as more consumers and homeowners are turning to the web to find local service companies, businesses have to find new and innovative ways to stand out.
Millions of searchers are turning to Google search and map results on their computers and increasingly from their mobile phone to find local service companies. Since Google is the leader in search, both national and local, it is important to keep abreast of the local tools and services Google creates.
I talked about Google Places in an earlier blog post and covered more of the basics about what it is and how to get the most out of the free stuff Google offers. You can check out this video on Google LatLong Blog that explains how local search works and how the companies are ranked – Local Search Ranking.
This post will cover using Tags and Boost to highlight a Google Places listing. Tags and Boost are not free, but they are important services to be aware of and consider to make your company stand out. These services do not make your Places page appear higher in the search index, but they do make your listing stand out.
With Google Tags, you can highlight your company’s listing in the Google search results and the results in Google Maps with a yellow tag that draws attention to information on your Google Places listing such as coupons, videos, photos, or custom messaging. Adding tags to your listing helps searchers notice the information you most want your potential customers to see.
Getting the tags on your listing costs $25/month, but does not carry any contracts or long-term commitments.
This Google Places feature lets you create a search ad based on your Places page. Google Boost lets you easily create an online search ad for your company’s local search page. The Boost ad shows up in the sponsored results in Google search and marks your listing on the map with a blue pin (the only blue pin in the results) instead of the generic red one.
Google has a page in their help section that gives details on all the information that will show in a Boost ad and where it will appear.
Boost ads are pricier, but you only pay for when someone clicks on your ad, rather than just for having the ad active. There is a minimum of $50/month to participate in Google Boost. With a Google Places page, you are able to get reports of the performance of your page and the performance of your ads in the Places dashboard.