Google Maps are hot! The fast-responding function drives local results from even the most basic search terms. For instance, a Google search on “pizza” will bring up a Google Places map with red “balloons” pinpointing the local pizzerias and restaurants in your area.
But you’re not limited to a “face in the crowd” listing. Google has upped the ante with the “blue balloon.” This variation on the Maps result gives you a sponsored listing, which means premium placement for your dealership. Your ad will appear at the top of the page in a blue background corresponding to the blue balloon on the map pinpointing your RV location – the better for searchers to notice your business early on.
Deciding on whether to get “the blues”
• The most obvious advantage of getting a blue balloon is your improved positioning in the Google page. Sponsored ads compete well with “organic” listings, especially when searchers don’t find what they need from the non-sponsored variety. (That’s why you’ll see sponsored ads even from major companies.)
• The system is completely automated and requires no monitoring from you – another plus if you’re busy otherwise running your dealership.
• Setup is simple. Your Google Places page uses the same login as that from your Google AdWords pay-per-click account. In your account you’ll find there’s a link to AdWords Express. Set up your Google Place page, then enter your payment information and website URL.
• However, you have little control over the content of your balloon. Google AdWords sets the keywords. If you wish to manipulate the listing with ad text, you’ll need to log into to you AdWords Express account.
What color is your balloon?
For a typical local business like an RV dealership, the placement of a listing and the prominence and relevance of the ad can spell the difference between a click-through and an also-ran. You may find the blue balloon option of AdWords Express to provide just the right amount of extra lift to your listing.