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The Importance of “Google Local Maps”

I hope you’re familiar with Google Local Maps & Google Places, because it is is an extremely important online business tool which can literally drive customers to your door. Using the power of Google Maps and Google Places tells your customers your location, the services you offer, and provides them with directions to location of your business. Using Google, anyone can search on the internet and find your business organically, but using Google Maps and Google Places, searchers with find an actual map with a balloon representing your business (and your competition) along with your business profile underneath the map. Customers can easily locate your business, no matter how big or small you are, get driving directions, see pictures or your products and services, watch videos, read reviews, and even go to your website.

Millions of People Search for Businesses and Services Using Google Places Every Day

Google PlacesIf your business is local and caters for the needs of local customers in your area, a free placement on Google maps will make it easy for them to reach you. Google allows any business to create, edit and modify their business profile for free and and millions of businesses have already taken advantage of this free opportunity.

The importance of Google maps when it comes to a local marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Whether your business is a big florist shop or small plumbing service, you should start thinking locally because it is where your potential customers are searching for help. Google’s local maps and Google Places are extremely important to your small business. They add more exposure in the search engines, thus generating more leads and traffic to your business. Each local business listing contains all the essential business information needed for a customer to pick you over the competition; information like your business name, addresses, website URL, phone number, pictures, videos, and reviews.

Why Aren’t You Showing up on the Front Page?

This isn’t always an easy answer, but it may be more obvious than you think. Most businesses still haven’t even claimed and completed their listings. This includes adding keywords, photos, and other essential information. Those that do have the upper-hand over those who don’t. If you haven’t claimed your listing, what are you waiting for? Google Maps and Google Places also have mobile apps for the iPhone and Android Phone, which give location specific results for your business. They help potential customers find your local business listing information while on the go. Google’s Mobile Apps will help clients find your business locally, targeting customers that are traveling in the area of your business. Many business owners want to market themselves online, but have little knowledge or understanding about Google Local Maps and Google Places. Frankly, they are losing customers and money everyday they don’t have their business on the Map.

While some businesses have claimed their listing and even ‘optimized’ it, they are still unsuccessful at getting their business to the front page results. That is because Google is looking for very specific things and most people don’t know what those things are and they aimlessly fiddle around with their settings in frustration. Additionally, some businesses have a good understanding of Google Places and may have even had some success with their listing results. But then Google shifts their algorithms and the rules suddenly change. One day you’re on top and the next day you’re no where to be found. How do you keep up with all the changes? Aren’t you supposed to be running a business and not becoming an expert on Google? If your business relies on Google local maps for its success and your listing disappears, you’re probably losing a lot of money. We know that is accurate, because it is estimated that 87% of online users search using Google for services, merchandise, and information. In anyone’s world, 87% is way too much to leave on the table, so your business better get a Google Places listing setup.

 Setting up a Google Places Listing

Google Local MapsThe first thing you’ll need to set up a Google Map or Google Places listing is a Google Account. The best part about Google accounts is that they are free. You may find that your business already has a listing, but it is unclaimed and void of any important content. These are created by Google and they are just waiting for you to claim them and optimize them. Once you have your Google account created, do a quick search for your business listing using your primary phone number to see a listing already exists.

Remember, your phone number is like a Social Security Number to Google and it is the easiest way to find your listing. If a listing exists for your business, you need to claim it. While logged into your Google account, go to your Google Places listing and Click the ‘Business Owner?’ link in the upper right hand corner. Follow the instructions for claiming the listing and be prepared to verify that you are indeed the owner. Google verifies by either sending a postcard with a pin number on it to the address of your business or with an automated phone call from Google with a pin number.

Now that you are the verified owner of the listing, you can make changes to it. Start by filling in, and correcting if necessary, all the fields in the listing. Business name, address, phone, website, pictures, hours, etc. Optimizing your listing with keywords and accurate information will put you ahead of the majority of businesses that haven’t yet claimed their listing, but it won’t get you on the front page if you have any amount of competition. Getting on the front page is difficult. Google has specific expectations, but they don’t tell you what they are and if you do it incorrectly, you may even be penalized without knowing it. This is frustrating to a lot of businesses, but it is the reality of playing in the sand in Google’s sandbox.

Do You Have the Knowledge, Skills, and Time Required to Have a Front Page Google Local Maps Placement?

If not, you’re not alone. It is probable that 99% of the business owners are more interested in running their business than figuring out Google. Those who can, turn to professionals for help. Using an expert, someone who knows what Google wants and expects, will save you a lot of time and money. So, if after completing the above procedures to claim and optimize your business listing, your still not showing up where you’d like to be on Google Maps or Google Places – consider speaking to a Google Places Professional . Doing so may help you regain your lost 90% customer base or bring you 90% more customers! Already, millions of small businesses are using Google Local Maps and Google Places, but very few of them are using it correctly. This leads to poor placement results, fewer phone calls, less sales, and more headaches. If after you’ve done all you can do on your listing and you still aren’t getting the results you desire, consider contacting a professional service; they may be able to help your business get proper page placement on the front page of Google Local Maps.

Has Your Phone Stopped Ringing?

Do you run a local business that depends on people calling you to place orders, ask questions, schedule a service or make reservations? If so, you already know the importance of being in front of customers when they need you. It’s no secret that potential customers are using the web to find you and quite often that means Google Maps.

The problem is, they might be calling your competitors. When people want to talk to someone and don’ necessarily need to visit a website to see work samples or read testimonials (think dentists, roofers, insurance, mechanics, etc.), they tend to look for the first phone number they can find. Since roughly 87% of online searches are performed on Google, odds are they’ll call one of the numbers on the front page. Are you on the first page of Google Maps? If not, you should be.

MapTraffic.net can help by getting you a first page listing on the map. We have identified 27 key components which Google uses to determine who gets to be on page 1 and who doesn’t. While it’s true that Google likes to shake things up quite often, we can typically figure out how they changed their algorithm by testing and have our clients back on the front page in no time. Oftentimes in less than a day. We also know that Google likes consistency and we continue to grow your online reputation each and every month. To do that requires a systematic approach and that’s where we come in.

If you are ready to kick your business up a notch and start getting more calls coming in, we can help. We aren’t afraid to take on even the most populated metro areas nor the most difficult cases. Call us today to get on page one of Google maps.

How do Businesses Get on Google Maps?

So you’ve built your profile, added all the pictures you can, wrote a nice (non-spammy) description, linked it to your website, have several “real” reviews and you still aren’t on the front page, right? We hear it all the time. We also hear comments like:

  • “I’ve done everything I can do to my Google Places profile, what more can I do?”
  • “The businesses on the top of the map aren’t even local.”
  • “I have great reviews, my competitor writes fake reviews, so why is he on the front page of the map?”
  • “If we hire your company, can we quit once we are on top?”

These are just a sampling of the comments we hear from frustrated business owners. So what is the magic formula to get on the top of the map? Well, for starters, it’s no real secret that Google wants to list businesses that are truly local to the community, have some reviews (good or bad) and have a great online web presence.

So what are your next steps? Easy, work with our company!

Seriously, we do the things that you don’t want to do, nor should have the time to do if you are busy working your business. About a month ago, Google made some changes which once again shook the whole Google Places community. At MapTraffic.net we have identified 27 different components which Google uses to determine who will be listed on the front of the map. Of those 27 one is SEO (search engine optimization). When Google made their change, most of our customers did very, very well because we have always included a small amount of Google Map SEO for our clients. Now, we just do more.

As a side note, reviews are just one of the 27 different items on the list. Unfortunately, it’s one we have no control over. We require our clients to get at least 2 reviews per month and we handle the 26 remaining items on the list. Just to emphasize, getting on the map is not simply a “who has the most reviews” race. while they are important, they are not the “special sauce”.

Our service is a monthly commitment on our part and yours. To keep someone on the front page (ideally at the top) of the Google map, requires ongoing work on our part in building a web presence that Google sees as relevant, timely and consistent. Your commitment is of course monetary, but also a small change in the way you do business. Getting customer reviews is no easy task. You will need to develop a system of working with your customers to encourage them to take action and write you an online testimonial. This is no simple task, as you will perhaps need a leave behind and follow-up system. The good news is that the system you develop will hopefully improve customer interaction and perhaps generate even more referral business.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level by getting on Google Maps and getting your phone ringing, give us a call today and we will answer your questions to the best of our ability without giving away our secret formula.  888-Map-Map1

How Do I get on the Google Map?

Are you frustrated because you aren’t able to get on Google’s map? You’re not alone. A simple search for something as obscure as “duct cleaning minneapolis” produced 731 results on June 25, 2010 when we clicked on the “More results near Minneapolis, MN »” link.

 More Results Google Map

Results in Google Maps

More competitive terms like “auto glass repair san francisco ca” has 6,786 results as of 06/25/2010. So it’s no wonder you are asking the question “How do I get on Google Maps”.

More Google Map results

Google Map Results

What this means is that Google has narrowed down the results found from 731 & 6,786 respectively to 7! This is why many have started referring to these 7 results found on the front  page of Google Maps as the “Lucky 7”. But it doesn’t have to be luck. Our company  has identified 27 variables which Google uses when determining which companies will be displayed for the person doing the search. Obviously, they are all about quality results, so they want to make sure only the very best results are displayed.

It’s also common knowledge that Google likes to shake things up about every 3-4 months. The 7 businesses who have enjoyed being on the top of Google maps, may suddenly find them selves on page two. The good news is, our programmers know which elements Google measures, so it’s just a matter of weighting them differently and finding the right formula. Once they have determined that, we simply apply it to all our customers and they are back in the same position!

While we won’t give away any of our trade secrets, we would like to give you 3 often overlooked pointers in regards to getting your business on the front page of the Google Map.

  1. You must have a completed Google Maps profile – It’s highly unlikely you will have great results without a completed profile including proper category selection, description and images.
  2. Have your customers leave reviews – notice we didn’t say add your own reviews? Give Google some credit. They can tell if all three of the reviews you added 3 days ago are from the same ip address. They can also tell that for the past 90 days you have had no reviews and suddenly you have 13 reviews.
  3. Hire and SEO firm, but get references – If you hire an SEO company to help get you to the top, ask for samples of their work. how competitive is the industry. Go to the second page of the map, scroll down and see how many other results there are. For example, any SEO firm could help a business get listed on the map for: “mobile home repair odessa tx” (1 result).
  4. Here’s a bonus….be patient! – I know it’s difficult because you want your company on the map immediately, but Google is not so easily manipulated.

We realize we haven’t even scratched the surface of what Google is looking for, but at least you will have a start. At MapTraffic.net, we have identified 26 points which Google considers regarding where you rank on the map. We also know that from time to time they like to shake things up. When that happens, we simply go to work testing to see which of those components they are now giving more weight o and make the appropriate adjustments. At MapTraffic.net we guarantee your business a first page listing on the map within 60 days, or we refund ALL your money, and that guarantee is for 3 out of 5 keywords! Call 888–Map-Map1 today for more info.