Google’s getting into the holiday spirit a little early this year, announcing the availability of mobile coupons for small business owners. The coupon part has been around for awhile, however, Google’s done a pretty good job failing to promote them. But no longer. With the change, any business owner who creates and adds a mobile coupon to their Google Local Business listing will now have the option to make that coupon accessible via a mobile device. That means customers and prospective customers looking up your location on their phone will be able to access your coupons without the need of a printer or rusty pair of scissors. Pretty savvy.
To make a coupon, simply head to your Local Business listing and click on the Coupons tab. If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, it’s really time to do that. Once you’re set up, you’ll be able to create your coupon like everyone else. If you’ve never created a Google coupon before, the process is pretty painless. You’ll be asked for your business name, coupon heading, optional sub-heading, the specifics of your coupon, an image, expiration date and other like information. Once you’ve entered in all your data, Google will give you a preview for how the coupon will look both on your Google Place Page and on a mobile device
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Once live, when a user views your Google Local Business listing on their phone they’ll see a section that shows them all available coupons. They can then click around to access the mobile-formatted version to show the sales clerk for redemption. It’s pretty simple. [I tried to find a coupon shot in the wild butI wasn't able to find any businesses currently using Google coupons - which is perhaps part of the problem and reason for the release.]
I think this is a great add on right in time for the holiday season. It gives small business owners one more reason to claim their listing and it encourages them to experiment with a new type of dynamic content for their site. It’s also a very strong draw for customers who love feeling like they’re getting something for free. Having coupons attached to your Google Business Listing is a great differentiator and one that I hope more SMBs will start using. It’s also a great way to see who’s finding you from the Web, as opposed to “traditional” means.
It’s worth noting that if you DO already have Google coupons, you’ll want to edit them to now be mobile-accessible. Google won’t change that default for you. To edit old coupons or go create a new one, head to the Google Local Business Center.