If you own a locally focused business, this is a big deal.
When you perform a search that indicates you’re looking for a local service provider (ie. accountant, pizza, florist, etc.), Google displays a map of your area along with anywhere from 1 to 7 local businesses who provide that service (usually it’s 7). This map gets prime real estate at the top of the search engine results page.
Having your business listed by that map can be a very big deal and generate a ton of leads for your local business. And, if you are listed by that map, the more you can do to draw attention to your business’ listing than your competitors, the better.
Claiming your business’ local business listing is free (if you haven’t done that yet, stop reading and go claim it here now: http://google.com/places! What’s also important to note about local business listings is that you can’t pay to rank on the first page of results.
However, in an effort to monetize the local business listings, Google recently rolled out a feature called Tags. What tags do is place a yellow marker by your local business listing that allow you to highlight some aspect of your business. Things you can highlight with a tag include:
- Your website
- Photos or videos of your business
- Link to your menu/reservations page
Here’s a screen capture for the search term “Houston massage” where you can see a couple of the local business listings have tags highlighting coupons…
Notice how those listings and their offers stand out from the crowd?
Here are the key things you should understand about tags:
- It costs $25 per month to add a tag to your local business listings.
- Tags DO NOT affect your rankings in the local business results.
- You can stop running them anytime you want.
- Right now, tags are only available in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Washington, and Washington D.C.
And most importantly…
5. Because this is so new, not many local businesses know about tags or are taking advantage of them. This presents a very nice opportunity for those who do to really make your business stand out from the competition and generate some more leads.
So if you own a local business and live in one of the areas where tags are available, I recommend adding a tag to your local business listing before your competitors catch on. And if they’re not in your area, they’ll be there soon so take advantage of them when they arrive.
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