Google introduced AdWords location extensions that let advertisers put their businesses' location and phone number on a Google map ad for mobile websites and applications. The company is looking to target ads to smartphone users who often use Google Maps to get directions and find businesses.
Ads on Google Maps with location extensions
Google Maps users will see such ads surface as banner text ads with a business icon that expands to show the business location on a Google map along with the ad creative, click-to-call phone number and directions.
Click-to-call ads let advertisers add local business numbers alongside their destination URLs in mobile search ads. When smartphone users search for a local business from their mobile phone (such as Apple's iPhone and Android phones) and see ads that have these numbers, they may simply click the number to call the business.
While one may think that a Google ad that leverages user location would leverage the GPS capabilities of handsets as well as Google's location servers, Google will merely use IP addresses to determine users' locations.
Location extensions ads have greater ROIs
Business advertisers are actually not charged when users click to expand the map or get directions, advertisers are only charged when a user clicks to call the business or clicks to visit its website.
Click-through rates are also up 6% when Google provides a phone number and 8% when it offers a local address with ads.
A new Chinese rule about online mapping services threatens Google Maps activity in China.
China introduces mapping services regulations
According to the regulations introduced this month, all firms providing online map and location services in China are required to apply for approval from the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.
Foreign firms will have to set up joint ventures or partnerships with local firms in order to get a license. Authorities will be allowed to shut down the service if providers do not get a licence by the end of this year.
This rule could lead to exclude foreign companies from providing their services in China.
Reshaping the online mapping market in China ?
Today, China's online mapping services market is led by three actors: Google, its Chinese rival search engine Baidu and another local company DDMap. They account for more than 50% of the market.
Google may have trouble obtaining a licence from the regulator because all its mapping servers are based outside China and the new rules require providers to keep servers storing map data inside the country.
Google may have also have difficulties to get the license since it already failed to negotiate with Chinese government about censoring search engine results in China which led to the redirection of Google.cn to Google.com.hk.
Nokia China also announced its interest in getting a licence for its Ovi Map service.
According to the Business to Business Survey 2007 by Enquiro, 65.3 percent of b2b buyers say they would start their research for a company with a general search engine. So, it is important to be high ranked in search engines (but this, we all knew it before).
The new thing is that search engine optimization is changing, because search engines are changing. Google now integrates google maps in its natural (organic) SERP (search engine reponse pages). So if I am in a location, and I type that location, I can find the closest service to me.
If I type hotel Beijing, he’s gonna show me google maps with hotels in Beijing, instead of just giving me web sites with the words hotel and Beijing in them.
Yes, it sounds cool, and the service for the user is improved… but it also means that if you have a company, you have to appear in these google maps reponses. You want an example, check the picture at the bottom of the post.
Yes, them.pro website is second when you type web development company in Beijing, and they are right, because… we are a web development company in Beijing! (Actually, the first company is not a web development company, so we should get rid of them soon ;o)
Question : what happens if you lie about your address? Say I am an offshore company in india, but I want customers from silicon valley, what if I indicate that I am in silicon valley, how can google find out? There is no answer yet … or maybe you do have one, then please put a comment to let me know.
After social media, I bet this is gonna be the next BIG THING in online marketing. Now when you think of Search Engine Marketing, also think about Geo targeting and geo localisation (but you were doing this also before right?).
Search engines are changing, SEO is changing, are you changing?