Small Business Marketing: Google Boost

Google has released a new tool – Google Boost – that allows small businesses to connect with potential customers via Google Adwords. The program is still in beta and available to select local businesses in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago.

Boost allows local businesses to create online search ads right from their Google Places account (In an earlier post, I discussed several free resources from Google available to small businesses, including Google Places – Free resources for small business from Google). The advantage for small businesses is that once the ad is created, no ongoing management is needed (unlike Adwords, where ongoing management is important). There is no bidding and no keyword research. Google experimented with a similar program in 2009.

Once you provide some basic information about your business (you can, for example, include star ratings from customers and number of reviews received) and a monthly budget, Google automatically sets up the ad campaign by determining the relevant keywords that will trigger the ad to appear when potential customers search on Google (see image on the left) and Google Maps. Your account is debited – just like with Adwords – only when people click on the ad – and not merely when the ad is shown.

Why should small businesses be interested in Boost? Recent studies reveal that most consumers research online before shopping locally. This trend is increasing – a few years ago, fewer consumers researched products online before buying locally.

If you want Google to let you know when Boost is available in your area, you can complete a short online form.