Google Places: Treat Tags & Boost Like Your PPC

Are you managing your own or your client's Google Places page promotion? If not, you probably should think about it. It all boils down to PPC type management
in the end and if left to their own devices, you know what will happen. One person fills it out to the best of their ability one time, someone else looks at it
and goes "OK" and then the Places page is checked of the list of to dos.

And in a way, it is. Someone finally claimed it. The URL is there, the description, hours, location, categories and payment, what else is there? Heck they even
put in a couple of photos and linked up the YouTube video version of the commercial. Just sit back and wait for the reviews and customers to roll in right?

Sort of. You could do that. Or you could pimp the heck out of it.


Google Boost

This is PPC. There's no question about it, just really simplified. You deposit a set amount for the account to deduct from each time a person clicks the "boost"
ad. Launched last October to limited cities, it's slowly widening it's reach, now available around the country and moving on to additional categories. Depending
on what categories you've selected for your business will determine your availability. If it's not there for you yet- fill out that "email me when it is available
for my business" link in your Google Places account and unfortunately, wait.

Here's the quick hit list:

  • Business has to be fully claimed and verified in Google Places.
  • Ads are created in the Google Places account, not AdWords.
  • Ads appear in the same sponsored links areas like PPC ads.
  • Note that the Map marker is blue to indicate sponsored, where the organic markers are red.
  • Fill everything out- short business description, add URL (website or Place page address), choose categories, set budget.
  • The short description of your business is pulled by Google from your Google Places listing description- you can edit it though.
  • Describe your business smartly…get the important stuff in there first. I couldn't find any specific editorial guidelines about including (or not) promotional
    content in this section.Suppose there's only one way to find out…
  • Deposit/set a monthly budget of at least $50 (recommended) if you don't want choose one of the listed price ranges.
  • Pay just like PPC, only when someone clicks, impressions are free.
  • No keywords.
  • If you already have AdWords- Places will AUTOMATICALLY use that credit card on file. They do not ask as you are setting up shop for a card and this is why.
  • Billing happens every 30 days or when you account reaches your billing threshold, whichever comes first. Basically- you need to keep an eye on it.
  • To stop, deactivate the ad. It'll take a few hours for the change to take effect and you will still pay for any clicks until then.

Once you are eligible, you'll get to do what I think is really neat, adding "tags" to your Boost listings.

Google Tags

Currently Google Tags is offering a 30 day free trial good through February 28, 2010, after which it's a $25 flat fee per month to use anytime.

Here's are some ads using tags:

Offer Tag


Update Tag


Video Tag


All you have to do is click on the "Create Tags" link in your Google Places account and start selecting from the types of tags:

Click on the radio button next to the options to add a URL for an online reservations or menu page, add a notification like a special in store anniversary sale,
add video or printable coupons.

And the quick hit list:

  • 30 Day trial ends 2/28, after that $25. The $25 is regardless of clicks and that $25 fee could go up or down.
  • Charges don't occur until the trial is over.
  • Unlike Boost, you CAN enter a different credit card when you sign up for Tags.
  • The $25 charge is for the current tag for the month. You can start, stop, change or add a tag anytime, your bill will be prorated for the month. Just remember-$25
    per tag.
  • Tag stats can be seen on the Google Places dashboard.
  • Video tags go to the videos section of your Google Places page, which needs to have had videos uploaded to YouTube first.
  • Offer tags are to be free and printable and if your offer expires, your tag will default to photos (or be deactivated if there are no photos.)
  • Update tags can be edited through your Google Places page and expire after 30 days. They also default to photos after the expiration.

And of course, to get the latest and greatest (and more details) check out the
Google Boost and
Google Tags info pages.

Local businesses should grab hold of this now and take it for a test drive before it really starts to catch on. Especially emergency/house call type businesses,
when your basement is flooding or you're locked out of your car, the listing that gets clicked is the one the jumps out!

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