Is your business listed with Google Local otherwise known as Google Maps? Does your business offer coupons? Well if you answered yes to both you can now combine the two. Beginning today Google is allowing anyone with a listing at their Local Business Center to add coupons to their listing. Once added the coupon will show whenever your business is found through Google Maps.
Adding a coupon to your business couldn’t be easier. There’s a very simple form where you fill in your business name, a headline and/or sub headline for your coupon, and some details about your offer. You can set an expiration date on your coupon and even add a coupon code, presumably to test how well the coupon works. If you have more than one location you can make your coupon available at all or just one location. Google takes care of the rest.
The next time someone finds your listing through Google Maps they should also see a link to your coupon included with your business listing. The link text is whatever you supplied for your headline. If by chance your coupon works so well that you run out of stock on the items your promoting, fear not since you can pause the coupon until you refill your supply. Once your shelves are overflowing again simply reactivate the coupon.
According to the New York Times Google is planning to allow business to use AdWords to drive people straight to their coupons. They’re objective is to encourage local businesses to promote themselves online. Even if you don’t have a website you can now offer online coupons and drive search traffic to your offline store.
Undoubtedly Google hopes as word gets out about the coupons it will drive more people in general to Google Maps. That can only be good for businesses that take advantage of the free local search advertising. While local search has yet to take off with most, it’s still expected to at some point with more and more people turning to the web to find even a phone number. It’s really just a matter of time before people begin to use the local search options at Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start marketing your business through local search. And once you set up your account with Google Local Business Center, you can start to offer coupons to help sell more of your products and services.