Saturday, June 19, 2010

How to Set Up Tags on Google Places - Not So Easy - First in a Series of TIps on Google Places Tags

If you are in California, Texas, Washington, Illinois, Texas, DC, or Atlanta, you can start using Google Places Tags.  If you aren't in one of those states, you'll have to wait a bit longer.  No schedule has been posted on the official page about Google Places Tags.  

What is a tag?  A little yellow advertisement on your listing that will make you stand out from the crowd.  You only get about 22 characters showing, so this is even a better test of your advert writing skills than Twitter or Adwords.  This new program will be the first to cost money on Google Places.  The introductory cost is $25 per month.

If you are in one of those five states, there is nothing easy about setting up tags. To begin with, you can't create a tag unless you have claimed your Google Places Listing.  This may be the easiest part of the process, but there is nothing easy about how to claim your Google Places Listing.  Of course, as you claim your listing, you will want to use all the advice found on this blog.

Now you can proceed to do a tag.  But since this is going to cost you money, even if a paltry sum, you want to plan your campaign.  The good news is that you can change it every day or more often if you like.  Google also has no contract on this.  You can quit any time.

So, what do you want to accomplish?  You have Five basic choices.  You can point to:

  1. Your own website or blog
  2. A video 
  3. A picture  
  4. The Google Places Coupon you would create for this purpose
  5. The Google Places Post you would create for this purpose
Each of the above has a link that can help you understand more about the choice.  For now, I am going to explain what I believe will usually be the best use of the Google Places Tag.

Back on the Google Places Account page, you can click on the small analytics graph and see the full analytics page.  In the upper right hand corner of this page is the location where you can place your post. 

The post can be up to 100 characters and will show up on your listing page as shown above.  However if you point to this text as your TAG, only the first 22 characters will be visible, so choose wisely.  If the viewer clicks on the tag, they will go to the listing page and see the entire Post, and everything else on your listing.  Your goal is to use the tag to stand out and to create enough interest to get a click through.  The clicks on the tag link will have a separate graph for analyzing its effectiveness.

Once you have decided which of the five you intend to use, you will see on this same page with the graph an offer to add the tag:

Once you have chosen from the pull down menu the type of tag you want, you can go to the check out page where you will set up your billing.  If you have not set up a Post or Coupon in advance, you will not see Post or Coupon on the pull down menu.  If you now create the Post or Coupon, you will need to refresh the page in order to see them on the pull down menu. 

You can call a Google Rep to help you with this process at 800-838-7971.  If you would like someone who will help you with the marketing rather than just the processing of your account, please give me a call at 310-910-1848. 

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