by Nick Stamoulis
As more and more people look online first for finding goods and services from
local businesses, it is essential that your business not only has a website with
the information they seek for influencing their purchasing decisions, you also
want to make it as easy as possible for them to find your business online and in
your community. Adding your business to
enables potential customers to quickly and easily find your business and if they
choose to, they can print out driving directions from their home.
Google Maps enables users to zoom in or out on your location, allow them to see
your address on a traditional map or satellite photograph, show other businesses
near your location, and allow several different search functions in the user
interface. Listing your business in the Google Maps Local Business Center
provides functionality to your site and adds the type of marketing synergy your
business needs to remain competitive in the Digital Age.
Google Maps Local Marketing Options
With a modest investment of time and money (if someone else manages and writes
the code for your site), you can open up a variety of effective local online
marketing opportunities for your firm’s website including Google’s AdWords (Pay
Per Click advertising), Maps, and Local Business Center listings.
To start your local online marketing campaign, you can:
- Add your business listing to the Google Local Business Center –
When you register, Google will send you a code via snail mail to activate
your account. You then take the code to create your listing which can take a
few weeks but once it has been created, you can add or edit your business
information. Since it takes weeks to activate, take extra care to ensure
that all the data you provide is accurate!
- Create a Google AdWords account – This is optional but using
localized PPC advertising to market your business locally is an inexpensive
but very effective means of driving local traffic to your site. Your ad only
appears for people in your area which keeps costs low and gives local
clientele another means of finding your website.
- Create a Local Business Ad – If you have created a Google
business listing and an AdWords account, this opens up the capability for
you to create a Local Business Ad with Google Maps that makes a listing next
to the local search map page as well as the ability to show additional
business information when someone clicks on your listing or the map marker
that shows your location.
These are just a few marketing options that Google Maps can provide for your
business. Again, the salient point here is: You want to make it as easy as
possible for local people to find your business’s website and location and give
them a variety of ways to do so. It’s not difficult or expensive and any
investment at all is certain to pay off in dividends as your business attracts
new clients and revenue rises!
About the Author: Nick Stamoulis is the President of the
Internet Marketing Company, Brick
Marketing and Brick Marketing who is the “Local Thursdays” weekly contributor
and blogger of the
Search Engine Optimization Journal.