Google Launches 'Tags' for Small Business Advertising
Small business owners know they need to advertise to build their business, but they also know that advertising is often expensive with mixed returns. And with the myriad advertising channels available today, it is hard to know one from another, let alone which is best to reach a target market.
However, Google - the global information juggernaut - launched a new tool for small business owners who use Google's free Place Pages feature. The tool is called Tags, and it is a simple way for small businesses to stand out among the crowd of local search results. For a small fee (the message on the above link says for $1 a day), businesses can add a small yellow tag next to their Place Page listing.
This advertising technique is nothing new. Newspapers employed this decades ago to charge a bit more for classified ads by offering larger or bold font, a thicker border, or a shaded background. Some papers would even add small icons like stars or check marks to ads.
The idea may not be new, but it is incredibly effective. For the small business owner who is looking for an inexpensive way to move his or her business to the top of the web surfer's click likelihood, this is an easy decision because the small yellow tag icon lends a certain instant validity in the mind of the surfer to their business's link. That's thanks in part to years worth of such tactics - especially for businesses with high ratings from independent firms like the Better Business Bureau.
More recently, Verizon has called attention to the simple "icon-as-validity" method in a series of television ads featuring caped "good guys". These verified businesses are listed on Verizon's Superpages.com site and marked with a gold shield with a check mark inside.
But most users aren't starting with Superpages to find their information. They start with Google. A small business with a Place Page and a Tag will yield more traffic, and the beauty of these two features is that they are simple to set up and don't require much maintenance. Further, business owners can set their budget with Tags so they don't overspend, and Place Pages give business owners traffic analytics to see their page's effectiveness. Also, the worry about reaching the targeted market is diminished as well because the market members are finding the business themselves.It may not be the only advertising a small business does, but it may be the best for providing customer insight and most importantly for return on investment.