Google Maps Coupons Now on the Map


Did you know you can make a coupon for your business through your Google Local Business Center? Not many people are aware of that, because the coupons have been nearly invisible to searchers since they were introduced back in August of 2006. Until now.

I present to you, Exhibit A:

I found this coupon in the wild while doing a search for “wedding photography Pittsburgh“. If you scroll over the coupon, it expands to show you more detail:

This little addition could have tremendous impact for local businesses. Just look how much the listing with the coupon stands out; the bright yellow definitely catches your eye. Of course, it’s only a matter of time until everyone jumps on this bandwagon, so it remains to be seen how Google will show the coupons when every listing has them. I can’t imagine them showing the same yellow coupon next to each listing – that would be cluttered and hard on the eyes.

Here are a couple more searches that I found interesting:

This is a search for “hotels Pittsburgh“. Notice how the listing in the top right stands out? It’s ranking at the #9 position (letter I), and it would be interesting to know if it would rank at all on the first page without the coupon.

Hey Pittsburgh attorneys, how would you like to get a few more phone calls from your Google Maps listing?:

That’s right, not a single coupon… yet.

Here’s another one, this Pittsburgh plumber has the idea:

All those dots, and he’s the only one with a bright yellow coupon.

And finally, a bit of a surprise. Usually locksmiths are all over this kind of thing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case (at least not in Pittsburgh – I’m busy right now doing a much more thorough search of cities and categories).

How long do you think it will take until more businesses start utilizing these coupons?

Jim Gianoglio is a Manager for the Analytics & Insight department. He works with implementation, analysis and training of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Before focusing on analytics, he led the SEO campaigns of Fortune 500 companies in the insurance, retail and CPG industries. Things you didn’t know about Jim: he’s biked from Pittsburgh to Washington DC in 41 hours, roasts coffee beans and has done voiceovers for TV commercials.

  • Robbin

    We should tell people that hidden in here is the identity of the people who made us prove that the Internet matters.

  • Jim, very interessting post. Unfortunatelly, when I do the searches from germany, I get the maps-results but I can not see the coupon-icon on the map. Is it still visible in the US? Best regards, Hermann from germany

  • Jim

    Hermann – it looks like they may just be testing this. I’m hearing from a number of people in the US that aren’t seeing the coupons. Oddly enough, I’m using two computers right now (one is PC, one is Mac) and the coupons are showing on the PC, but not on the Mac. Both computer are using the same ISP.

  • Good find! I’m all for Google Maps making the coupons more visible. Already better on the Google Places pages – would be great if they added to 7-Pack somehow.

    @Jim weird about the MAC/PC thing, wonder if they are just split testing – did you refresh and check again on each computer…?

  • Jim

    @Matthew Hunt – I would be surprised if they added them on the 7 pack – the SERPs are already getting more and more cluttered every day and this wouldn’t help. Personally, I would like to see them integrated in their new “Near Me Now” mobile feature – that would be very useful.

    I did refresh on both computers. The specifics:
    PC/Firefox – yes
    PC/Internet Explorer – yes
    PC/Chrome – yes
    Mac/Firefox – no
    Mac/Safari – no

    Same IP address for both.

  • I think this is a fabulous idea and I did not know about it. I hope that people will catch on to things like this. The only thing that I see wrong (which is the same thing I dislike about the idea of adding your company to the map) is that business without an actual brick-and-mortar store cannot participate. Do you know of any companies participating that are web based only?

  • Looks like another Google test given the different results from different locations.

    In any event, local businesses should tap the Google Coupon tool and even expand it.

    Coupons are a great way top track your responses… plus customers today are really looking for Coupons.

  • Jim

    @Jae – for businesses with no brick and morter store (plumber, seo consultant, etc.) you could use your home address, as long as you’re OK with that showing up in Maps. It works for a lot of people, but isn’t the best solution for everyone. It used to be OK (kind of) to use a PO Box as your address, though that’s no longer the case (see Google’s business listing guidelines:

    @Walt – absolutely. Coupons usage is (and has been) on the rise steadily, which makes sense given the last year’s economic roller coaster ride. People are looking for coupons, and if you’re the only one on the map that has them, be ready to answer your phone.

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