Google+ and Google MapsIf you have a business that has ANY local component - from doing hypnosis to selling soaps to doing web design - it's absolutely critical that you have a presence on Google Maps. This is how your customers find you. Your customer might be a writer who needs a social networking campaign for her new book. Or your customer might be a mom-and-pop gift shop who wants to add lavender lotion to their offering. Whoever they are, you want to make sure they find you when they do their search.
Here is how it works.
Go to maps.google.com. On my computer it defaults to a view of “Massachusetts”. On your system it might show the center of your state or country. It all depends on what Google knows about you.
Now type “web design”. This is, interestingly, how a lot of people are looking for things nowadays. They go into google maps and look for a phrase. So I get this result –
Interestingly, you can see that all the “featured results” are out in Boston and have lots of reviews. So even though the map is centered on the Barre area, it’s pushing me towards those well-reviewed places. Plus one in Albany. The “A” spot is in New York City!!
So then I zoom in towards Worcester, let’s assume I live in that area and want to see what’s near me to examine. I get this –
Again note how only a few of the many red dots are highlighted. Those featured businesses the ones with reviews and good pages. That could be the difference between few clients and oodles of clients. Think about it this way. If you were the person searching, and this is what you saw, which is more likely? That you'd scan the list of highlighted stores on the left and click on one? Or instead click on one of the unlabeled tiny red dots and see what it might be about?
The key is to think about where your ideal clients live. Do tests of your keyword combinations in their areas. Zoom in and out a bit. Do you show up in the search results? Are you featured? How do you compare with your competitors? Then work on enhancing your Google+ page, adding reviews, and improving that result!
Google+ Best Practices
Benefits of Google+
Google+ with Author and Rel Tags
Google+ and Google Maps
Testing Google+ Search Results
Setting Up a Google+ Fan / Business Page
Authorship on a Google+ Business Page
Social Networking Websites
Marketing your Small Business
Working from Home