Depending on your viewpoint, Groupon’s new Pages offering is either a helpful new tool for local business owners or a bid by the company for more search exposure and a new way to gain sales leads. Indeed, it probably qualifies as both.
Groupon stresses Pages’ value for business owners (SEO, reputation, social engagement) but there are myriad potential benefits for the company that tip the scales in its favor. This is not to say that value to Groupon and value delivered to SMBs are mutually exclusive. But the challenge for business owners is that this represents yet another page-presence for them to manage in a very noisy local marketplace.
Here’s the Groupon pitch to local business owners:
Be part of the world’s largest local commerce marketplace, where more than 200 million customers can search for the best things to eat, see, do, and buy. Manage your online presence by adding photos, customer specials, and other business details. Entice customers to visit with specials. Specials may include happy hours, weeknight promotions, loyalty programs, or bundled pricing
Groupon has created 7 million Pages that correspond with an equivalent number of business listings in the US. This followed a beta trial in five US cites the company called successful. The overwhelming majority of these Pages are not claimed.
Groupon declined to tell me how many Pages had been claimed but said, in email, that “during the pilot we saw a great response from local businesses when prompted to claim their page.” As with other directories and local search sites, once claimed, Pages can then be enhanced.
If it isn’t obvious Groupon Pages are essentially business profile pages that permit SMBs to promote offers to consumers and allow them to “request a deal.” In addition if Groupon has consumer recommendations those are displayed …read more