Harnessing the power of the digital space for your business doesn’t just mean learning how to use Facebook or Yelp. It also means learning about the different ways by which customers may find and engage with your business.
For that reason, we’ve come up with this quick overview of Google Maps Search!
Where to start?
What are we talking about?
Formally known as Google Local, Google Maps is one of Google’s most popular tools . If you are business owner, Google has a special place called Google Places where you can customize and optimize our business for searches.
The basics of how it works
If you have ever wanted to look up directions or where a particular business was located, there is a good chance that you used Google Maps before. To use Google Maps, simply enter in the address or location (ex: City) and you will be shown a map layout of the area. In most cases, Google will allow you to zoom in on an area all the way to street level. For this example, we’ll use Santa Monica, CA:
From here, you can type in the business you are looking which will then show you a list of all the businesses that fit that keyword in the area you have specified in the earlier step. Here is an example of what we see for the keyword “movie theater”:
The results that are shown are a combination between paid advertisements by the businesses and local business listings from Google Places.
The paid advertisements are generated directly from Google AdWords.
How do I use Google Local Search to my advantage?
After you have a good understanding of what Google Local Search/Google Maps is, the next step is to make sure that your business is properly listed and setup via Google Places.
Once logged in to your Google account and on the Google Places page, you will be able to build out your businesses listing page where you can customize information such as contact information and locations. Remember that the more complete you are with your listing, the better results you will have when people search for key terms related to your business.
If you are looking to take a bigger step in the direction of Google Maps, you can also consider using Google AdWords which is Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform. Using Google AdWords you will be able to make search customizations such as having your ad show up only for users within a specific region.
Before jumping into AdWords, we suggest first setting up your Google Places account and seeing if that is a good enough bump for your business.
Remember that Google Maps isn’t necessarily the solution that will lead to booming traffic, but that it is important to any marketing strategy online.
Are you currently using Google Maps for your business? What kind of results have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.