Before I suggest what to do, here’s some background.
Local advertising is heating up. I mean it’s like BURNING AND SCORCHING HOT. Why? Well Google is not known as a company to make phone calls or receive phone calls. It’s got an army of engineers that can offer just about any service with minimal human intervention. Online sign ups. Online support. Only configurations. Pretty much you can do it all without talking to anyone from Google.
Of course many customers do speak to a Google representative, but often it’s larger companies or those paying a fee for a higher level of support. That’s changing.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that small businesses across the US are getting calls from Google to maximize their Google Places listing.
Google Places is Google’s free listing of local businesses. What costs money is Google Tags which are ways for a local business to highlight a special offer – such as a coupon to a prospective customer. Google also sells Google Boost which takes your Google Places listing and advertises it on Google Search and Google Maps, it looks like an easier and localized version of Google Adwords.
Smaller businesses, or big ones with a local presence NEED to market their businesses online. The Yellow Pages have long been a dying resource, but there had not been much to fill that void. However, over the past year or two companies such as Google, Yelp, Merchant Circle, City Search, Reach Local and others have been providing local business listings.
Google’s investing the resources not only on engineering but also on active sales to get businesses to go beyond free listings but to BUY enhance local advertising solutions.
Now Here’s What I Suggest You Do When Google Calls
Spend some money to do local advertising. Spend $50? $100? whatever is good for you. And make sure the sales representative helps you closely measure the results of your local advertising.
Next try out at least three other local advertising solutions, many mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Do you like the representative?
Did you like the overall experience?
Which service was simpler to use?
And most importantly what kind of results did you get?
You might not get these answers, especially the last one in one day. However after 7 – 10 days (or maybe longer) you should have measurable results.
It should be pretty clear which solutions is best for you.
Also keep in mind, you might need to refine your listings. It’s like cooking, throw in some salt, taste. Throw in some more, taste. Know what I mean?