Google has announced it is allowing businesses to include clickable icons on its maps that will link to a company's Place page for store locations.

Google has announced it is allowing brands to include clickable icons on its maps that will link to a company's Place page for store locations. The feature could become a new local ad format that will allow businesses to promote themselves, though it is currently only available for big brands.

When desktop users are on Google Maps, large brands are can promote their services via their well-known icons or logos visible on the maps. Google says the success of this feature in Australia is what has prompted the company to offer it to major U.S. businesses.

The familiar map icons will soon be visible on mobile phones to help businesses catch the clicks and (hopefully patronage) of nearby, on-the-go consumers.

Advertisers must pay to have their company logos featured on the maps as Google believes "recognizable logos help business owners promote the store fronts of their well-visited locations." Currently, the feature is only being offered to national brands with multiple locations. However, businesses of all sizes may want to see how this develops as unique logos could help draw consumers to stores.

This feature is just one of many ways that Google is enhancing its map features to help marketers boost local advertising campaigns. As Brafton recently reported, Google unveiled a new ad format that assists brand management by allowing businesses to respond to reviews on Google Places.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.