Back on July 5, I posted Google Maps Advertising: How to do it and does it work and I wanted to share some early results.
Using thebralady.ca as the destination site and running both a regular adwords campaign as well as a local business ad campaign combined with conversion tracking when a user lands on the Maps page I have been surprised at the early results of this campaign.
So what have I discovered?
CTR (click thru rate): the CTR for the map advertising is outperforming that of the regular search ad by well over 50%.
Conversion Rate: This is the biggest surprise, the conversion rate on the clicks from the maps advertising is twice (that’s correct – 2 times) that of clicks coming from the search network.
Going into this campaign, I had no expectations, I did suspect however that maps may not be as successful. I am surprised by the results. What this suggests to me is that users are starting to learn the behavior of finding local businesses on maps and if the results continue, could potentially be a powerful tool in local advertising.
I will keep you posted on developments.
Today on the Google Blog – they have announced the release of Google Print which is intergated into your Adwords accounts.
From their blog:
“Even with the growth of online news sites, Americans still read newspapers. Over the course of a typical week, nearly 3 out of 4 adults (115 million) in the top 50 markets read a copy of a daily or Sunday newspaper.* That’s why thousands of businesses use print advertising every day to reach a local audience, and why we’ve announced that we’re extending Google AdWords to newspapers for most U.S. advertisers.”
The newspapers in the program include The New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WPO), Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times and San Jose Mercury News. The list of advertisers using the program includes NetFlix (NFLX), 1-800-FLOWERS (FLWS), Blue Nile (NILE), eBags, Mrs. Fields and LendingTree.
If you want to see more about this particular service – you can visit the Google Print Ads Site. If you happen to publish a daily newspaper and want to get in on the action, take at look at Adsense for Newspapers.
The next question is whether any of the Canadian newspaper publishers will push Google to open this program up in the Canadian market? Personally I think this is both a win for the publisher and the advertiser. Many small businesses in the US now have the opportunity to test newspaper advertising in a controlled and measurable fashion. Time will tell exactly how this impacts the newspaper industry in the US, but I sure the “net” will be positive.
Here is excert from the The Power of Newspapers page – Google’s Highlights of the value:
1) Newspapers give advertisers significant local reach. They are the voice of their community.
2) Newspapers help advertisers reach an attractive demographic
3) Newspapers are a key resource for shopping information that drives consumers to make purchases – online and offline
4) Newspapers are relevant throughout the purchase cycle
Here is a great example of another mapping service (developed with Google Maps) that combined mapping with a function that most travellers always ask themselves – how much are cab rides going to cost me? The site is Toronto Taxi Finder and is part of a network that includes Boston, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
There is even a full mobile version that you can use on your cell phone – check out the Toronto Mobile Taxi Fare Finder.
So I wanted to determine how accurate the figures where. A common trip that I take is from my office at Yellow Pages Group which is 325 Milner Avenue, Toronto, Ontario to Pearson Airport. The rate from Toronto Taxi Finder was $77.87 and I normally pay $60. Not exactly sure how the rates are calculated, but they appear to be on the high side in Toronto. However, this is a great tool for business or personal travelling for budgetting and planning purposes. Even if you live in Toronto and don’t take a taxi often, this can really help you guage your costs. Looking for a taxi in toronto – check out YellowPages.ca.
Online buyers in Canada are taking full advantage of the Web, scouring customer reviews and community sites for help making educated purchasing decisions, according to a new study by JC Williams Group (via Globe and Mail).
Around 38 percent of Canadian online buyers comparison shop, an increase of four percent from last year. Shoppers also trust peer reviews more than any other source: 60 percent called reviews by other customers their most trust source, while newspapers or magazines garnered only 31 percent of shopper confidence.
Right now the fastest growing media site in Canada is facebook, currently with 3M registered users.
Some top comparison sites in Canada include Shop To It, Price Canada and Price Grabber to name a few. For a complete list – please refer to Linda Bustos’s Post called – Canadian Comparison Shopping Roundup – this will give you the 411 on the comparison shopping in Canada. If you are still interested in learning more about Comparison Shopping in General – check out the Comparison Shopping Engine Strategies blog written by Scot Wingo the CEO of ChannelAdvisor.com.
More businesses in Canada need to get their product inventories online. I think there is a great opportunity for businesses to drive more sales using comparison engines (most of which will take your inventory for free) as another means of marketing. Even if you don’t sell the products online, having your inventory available online is critical. However, the main key is to do it right, meaning, don’t just slap up products you would like to carry or have access to it a catalogue – make sure that what you list is available in your store. If it is not available, remove it.
Would you ever tell a prospective customer over the phone that you had a product in stock, when you don’t? You would have one irate customer on your hands if they drove down to your store and realized that you lied to them on the phone. The same rule applies on the web – promote what you have and remove it when you don’t. If you are interested in a tool that allows you to get your inventory online – check our DriveIt.
Do you have other solutions that can help get inventory online for Canadian businesses? If so, please let them in the comments section – thanks.
If you are a Google Maps user – you may have noticed that other icons are appearing on the maps other than the numbered bubbles. This is Google’s extension of their Adwords program where you can place your advertising directly on Google’s Maps. The following screenshots are from The Bra Lady, and yes, this is my Mom’s business.
How do you do this? Here is a high-level overview of the process.
Step #1 – you need to register yourself with Google’s Local Business Center. This process takes you through 6-steps of information with the final step being validation.
Step #2 – Go through the validation process – you can select a phone call, SMS or a post card.
Step #3 – Once validated – sign up for a Google Adwords account and build a local campaign. You will see the following message – “Since this campaign is locally targeted, we thought you might be interested in creating ads associated with your Google Maps business listing.”
Step #4 – Complete the specific local business ad aspects of the ad by selecting your image and the icon and your ad will appear on Google Maps.
Does Advertising on Google Maps Really Work?
This campaign for The Bra Lady has been running since the beginning of June. Early indications are, at least from the raw stats, that it is working. Let me explain – we are running two ads – one on Google Maps and the other on Google Search and its Search Network. In terms of click thru rate – the map ad is outperforming the regular ad by 1.42% – the map ad is producing a CTR of under 5%. As far as CTR goes – the map ad appears to be strong.
The average cost per click on the ad on the map is running slightly higher than the average cost per click for the regular Google Search and its Search Network ads. We are also using conversion tracking with the Map Page as the conversion meter. The converstion tracking is clearly showing that the Maps is outperforming Search.
The bottom line success factor is based on the number of new clients to the business. In this respect Google is contributing, along with her YellowPages.ca Ad to driving new sales. So in this case, the ads are working.
Okay – maybe a little over dramatic, however, I am pleased to announce the re-release of my personal blog. So the first question I would ask is “so what”, tell me what’s in it for me?
Since the early 1990′s I have been focused on a couple areas that really interest me personally – those being – the Internet and its impact on small businesses, small business growth strategies and making money. In fact, I have run three companies – two which I have successfully sold – so actually all three of my passions go hand in hand – basically I have the entrepreneur bug.
However, with every success comes the mistakes behind making that success – I have wounds from my days on the battlefield – but I can say that I have had more successes than failures over the years. I have had some great mentors, past and current, and I currently mentor some young entrepreneur’s whose time will be coming shortly.
So what I plan to focus on with this blog are the areas that I help young entrepreneur’s develop, information that I consult on for small businesses and in general some that I have a passion for. Those subjects will range from Internet marketing strategies, the Yellow Pages directory business, making money online, how to maximize your personal and small business finances, and introduce you to some of the bloggers who I respect and admire and probably more. I will attempt to keep this blog informative with just a little dash of humour.
Am I an expert, I don’t think so, some people believe I am – so I encourage you to challenge what I post and hopefully we can create an exciting dialogue that benefits other readers.
I look forward to serving my readers,