Google maps should be a crucial part of local business marketing. If done correctly it can be very powerful! Anyone can add a map listing for free, but if done properly, the impact for a business can be dramatic!
Google are looking for the best search experience possible, for people using their search engine. If they accomplish this, more people will use the search engine and the same people will continually return to search. The more people who use Google for their search, the more advertisers Google will attract and the more money they will make. Simple really
So, back to Google maps. If someone is looking for a product or service in a certain area, then they will tend to use a geographical denominator within their search query. The example I will use is ‘Biggleswade karate club’ (Biggleswade is the area in the UK where my karate club is located).
Google offer a free marketing opportunity for local businesses and this is one that all businesses should have. In the picture below are the results for typing biggleswade karate club in Google. Now i have marked all of my real estate with a red marker. The listings on the left are the regular search results and the map with pictures below, is the FREE map listing!
Now, the market above was very easy for me to totally dominate the first page of Google. There is competition, there are several karate clubs within Biggleswade, but many of them are not performing SEO (search engine optimisation) on their websites. So lets look at more competetive market.
I performed a map listing and some SEO for a car garage in Letchworth UK. As you can see below letchworth car service was the keyword used, their listing is number 1, after the paid for ads, which use google pay per click advertising, ppc marketing is very powerful, but that’s another article:).
In the second picture I typed the keyword in again, but this time i performed the search on the Google maps page. As you can see, they are number 1 again:) after the paid ads.
Having a wide and varied marketing campaign for local businesses is very important and many of the techniques are free to do, although they do take time and need to be done properly. So if you have a bricks and mortar business, get it listed properly, on Google maps today!!!!!