Google Making It Easier For Local Businesses To Be Found

    January 14, 2009

Small brick and mortar businesses that advertise with Google may be about to get a boost.  The search giant is making some adjustments to the ads that appear on Google Maps, and a separate upgrade should allow stores to track how much of a gain the things give them.

Let’s start with the change that’s being implemented today.  On the Inside AdWords blog, Amanda Kelly explains, "Previously, a click on your ad’s info window could only take the user to your website.  Now, users will be able to interact with the info window to get the information they’re looking for about your business, right away.  The new links include ‘Get Directions,’ ‘Street View’ (where available), and ‘Save to My Maps.’"

Google Airport
 New Ad Info Window

Sooner or later (and more likely sooner), a "Send" link will show up, as well, letting users pass info along to their phones and email addresses.  It’s easy to suppose that all of these steps will lead to more interest and increased foot traffic.

Abby Johnson talks with Sage Lewis of SageRock about utilizing maps for your business in this video from SES:

But for businesses that want to do more than guess, Google’s got something else on deck.  "[S]tarting in a few weeks, a new interaction report for local business ads will be available through your account’s Report Center," Kelly continues.  "The report will help you accurately assess your return on investment with local business ads by detailing how many users opened your info window and clicked on each of the new interactive links."

These seem like nice, recession-appropriate steps that should benefit Google, too.