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Using Google Maps . . . Effectively

Having been on the Internet since 1997, we’ve seen a lot of things come and go . . . and a lot of things change. However, I think we can say safely that the most significant change has come with the popularity of the Internet-ready cell phones. Phones that allow access to the Internet literally anywhere. For example, we had several calls after the Christmas holidays from people looking for antiques after finding our wwww.TexasAntiqueMall.com website on their cell phones – all while traveling down the Interstate. We were surprised to learn that all they had to do to find us was type in the ‘keyword’ for the item they were looking for,  along with the ‘area code’ where they wanted to find it . . . and we popped up.

What does all this new technology mean for a business website – new or old? Several things . . .

  1. Include the zip code for your business address along with the city and state
  2. Individually optimize each page for 1 – 2 keywords or 1 keyword string based on Planet Ocean  monthly guidelines
  3. Get your business listed in the Google Maps and confirm all information is accurate and current including address, telephone number, pictures, URL and description (update your information as your business expands or changes)
  4. In addition to displaying your ‘client friendly’ ‘800’ number, also include your complete business telephone number somewhere on the pages

Don’t have an ‘800’ number yet? Get one starting at  just $2.00 a month from Kall 8

 

If you have a ‘brick and mortar’ business, you need to have a listing on Google Maps. Not familiar with Google Maps? Google Maps allows searches for businesses, addresses or places of interest by typing in a business name, address or city. Google then presents a list of possible locations (on the left) with a map to the right showing the locations with a corresponding letter notation.

To see if your business is listed, click on the Maps link on the Google home page and then type your business name in the space to the left of ‘Search Maps’ – click to perform the search. If your business is already in the Google Maps database, your listing will appear on the left of the screen. You can then click on your business link to see the information about your business. If you don’t like what you see, click the Edit link and make changes. Once changes have been make, you will be required to confirm that you are the owner. This can be done one of two ways. Immediately with a phone call or you can request Google send you a pin number via snail mail that you will input on receipt. (Directions on how to confirm the changes are included with the pin number.) Once you have confirmed ownership, the changes will take effect.

If you do not have a Google Map listing for your business(es) – get one! These steps will get you started:

  1. Register for a Google Account (if your don’t already have one)
  2. Go to the Google Map links, click on Put your business on Google Maps’
  3. Sign into the Local Business Center and follow the prompts to get listed

While getting your business  into Google Maps is  important – don’t forget to  keep your website’s information current, optimize those keywords and make  it easy for clients to contact  you  . . .  keeping on top of  these issues can easily generate more traffic for your business.


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