Google Coupons the Start of Something Bigger

Back in July, I looked at a patent from Google that described issuing coupons from stores in Google’s Holy Grail of Shopping? It appears that Google has taken the first of what could be a number of steps towards making the processes described in that patent come true, with news that they are enabling advertisers to add coupons to their listings in Google Maps.

Danny Sullivan captures a lot of the details about this new service in Google Maps Gets Coupons

The patent, Generating and/or serving dynamic promotional offers such as coupons and advertisements, does a great job of laying out some possible next steps and detailing how these types of discount offerings could be expanded to make Google Local a great avenue for small businesses to attract customers. Check out my previous post on the patent for some of those possibilities.

Google Maps probably needed a boost of some type to make it more attractive to business owners. Seeding the coupon offerings with coupons from Valpak was a good way to begin.

I’d encourage business owners even somewhat interested in offering coupons to visit the Google Local Business Center, and make sure that they have greater visibility in Google Maps.

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5 thoughts on “Google Coupons the Start of Something Bigger”

  1. I think this is nifty….but with a huge BUT!!

    I just did extensive research on search terms to my site for the last month. This local business is pretty well optimized for local terms. It is additionally high ranked for generic industry business terms so we are in an unusually strong position. The business is a local brick and morter business covering a regional area including Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland

    Some stats over the last month:

    3 visits from Google Maps!

    Over 3300 total searches

    Over 1,000 searches included combinations of relevant business terms and relevant geographical terms.

    Additionally we received over 1,000 terms for the main industry business term and relevant 2ndary terms for the industry and business.

    All things being considered, I have monitored my logs for a couple of years and the site sees very little usage of either Google Maps (formerly local) or Y or MSN Local.

    I regularly look in depth at the long tail phrases that are combinations of geo and business terms. They are the best conversion phrases for the business. I consistently see this same phenomena. A wide number of relevant long tail phrases coming through direct usage of Google and other search engine search boxes….and minimal usage of either Y or MSN Local and Google Maps.

    I have a test up with a coupon….but frankly I don’t have a lot of hope.

    But I’d like to be pleasantly surprised.

    Dave

  2. Hi Dave.

    I wonder if this needs people need to be creative to take the best advantage of it.

    Does the company do any advertising through other media, print or radio or local tv? For instance:

    Try a “Search for us under “xxxx” in Google Maps and get both directions for our location and a coupon for x% off on your order.

    Get them to print out a map and a coupon at the same time. If one of the companies in my area ran an ad like that, and it was something I was thinking about, I might consider doing that. :)

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