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Local is better

Figuring out how to market your local restaurant or retail store online can certainly be frustrating and confusing. What with managing keywords, bid costs and your advertising strategy, you might begin to wonder whether it’s worth the hassle.

Research, however, shows that it’s worthwhile to create and maintain an online presence despite the frustration.

Nearly all consumers - 97 percent, according to the Kelsey Group - now use online media when researching products or services in their local area.{{{2}}}

Because Web search is such an important part of the buying cycle, pay-per-click advertising is expanding rapidly. An Internet Retailer report reveals that 52 percent of businesses were already using PPC advertising in 2010, and 11 percent planned to in 2011.
Okay, so now you’re convinced you should advertise your business online. Luckily for you, Google recently introduced a service called Google Boost that helps small local businesses stand out from the crowd.

Google Boost offers enhancement of your business listing on Google Maps. Just a few simple steps, and you will be able to
employ a fully operational advertising tool that requires little to no maintenance.

Here are the advantages of Boost, according to Google:

  • You'll attract more local customers to your website or Google Places page with an ad that's advantageously placed in both Google Maps and the sponsored section of search results pages.
  • You pay only when people click on your ad, just like any PPC program. Bonus: Google Boost ads are inexpensive. Many businesses are seeing return on investments of a few hundred dollars a month.
  • It's easy - and fast - to create ads directly from your Google Places account.
  • No ongoing management needed after you sign up. Boost runs the ads for you.
  • You can track the effectiveness of your ads in your Google Places dashboard.

Google Boost ads appear in the sponsored ad section of a search results page. Where an ad appears is determined by relevance to the searched keywords and location of the search.


Boost works in conjunction with your Google Places account. You'll set this up and enter your physical address, industry, hours, contact info and website address. Then you determine your monthly ad budget and enter the categories you would like to appear for, as shown in the image below. Then you're good to go!


Getting “Boosted”

I feel strongly that this local advertising service will be a game changer for small businesses looking to establish a strong presence. Google Boost ads are far more visible than traditional sponsored ad listings, because of the blue pushpin highlighting each Boosted business. Searchers can quickly identify the one or two blue pushpins in a sea of red pushpins on a Google map or within a search results page.

Note how easy it is to pick out the blue pushpin for San Francisco restaurant Spice Kit in the map pictured below:


If you want to differentiate your business and bring in new customers, set yourself up with Google Boost. It's an effective way to expand your reach and improve your visibility in search results. With 97 percent of people researching purchases online before they even leave the house, you have a huge opportunity to capture some of their attention. Getting found on Google has never been easier, or cheaper!

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