Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Google introduces Boost for local advertisers

In another new product announcement from Google, local advertisers in parts of the US have the opportunity to test Google Boost, which enables business owners to easily create online search ads from directly within their Google Places account. No ongoing management is needed after the initial set up, and this beta is currently available to select local businesses in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago.

Boost ads are eligible to appear in the 'Sponsored Links' section of Google.com and Google Maps search results. Beyond the basics like company name, address, phone number and website, the advert may also include the number of reviews received by the business, an average star rating and a link to the Place page to help potential customers find additional useful information about the advertiser's business. When a map appears alongside the results, a blue pin will help searchers quickly find the business location on the map.

To create an advert, local advertisers will need a short business description, a web or Place page, some business categories and a monthly budget. From there, Google will automatically set up an advert campaign, figuring out the relevant keywords that will trigger the ad to appear on Google and Google Maps, and how to get the most out of the budget allocated. A full AdWords campaign isn't required but Boost works in the same way so that local advertisers only pay when a potential customer actually clicks on the ad. Basic ad performance data is available from the Google Places dashboard.

Boost does not affect the ranking of the free, organic business listings in any way. Google also says they will review the data and effectiveness of this trial and may make changes before making decisions about any future expansion.

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