Dec 28 2010

Claim Your Business Listing in Google Maps / Google Places

Do you have a small business that you’re trying to get the word out about? A larger company and trying to attract more customers? Claiming your ‘free business listing‘ within Google Maps / Google Places is a great way to get the ball rolling! It’s also great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value, items worth noting are marked green in this post.

You’ll need a GMail account in order to do this, but don’t worry, this is free too! Nothing better than free marketing for your business or company! :) Once you have a GMail account, log into the Google Places Center and begin by entering your phone number to see if your business has already been listed (See image 1 in slideshow @ bottom of this post).

A. If the business does not exist:

  1. This leads to a page that will require the following input fields be filled out or edited:

    • Country
    • Company/Organization
    • Street Address
    • City/Town
    • State
    • ZIP
    • Main phone
    • Category (great SEO opportunity for better defining the type of business)
      • Google Notes: ‘Categories are ways to classify your business that help Google show your business for the right searches. The Google Places will suggest categories that match what you type, but feel free to create your own if you don’t see a category that fits your business. Make sure that the categories you choose are accurate and describe your business well. It’s ok if they’re specific; Google’s search algorithm makes sure that users looking for a general business type, like ‘book stores,’ will see businesses in more specific categories too.
  2. Optional fields are:

    • Email Address
    • Website (great SEO opportunity for adding a link to your business’s website)
      • Google Notes: ‘list your authoritative business website as your homepage, since Google uses information from your homepage to help improve search results. The URL you provide can be a maximum of 255 characters.
    • Description (great SEO opportunity to add a nice, attractive description for bringing prospective clients to your business)
      • Google Notes: ‘Tell users what makes your business special.
    • Service Areas & Location Settings:
      • No, all customers come to the business location.
      • Yes, this business serves customers at their locations
        • Checkbox for not showing business address on Google Maps
        • Either Distance from business or ZIP/City name can be chosen for areas served. (Choosing either one updates map with a coverage area outline. See example image.)
        • (great SEO opportunity to funnel in local people to your business)
    • Hours of operations (with option of not displaying operating hours)
    • Payment Options (16 different options)
    • Photos
      • (great SEO opportunity to visually appeal to end-users when they initially see your business listing within Google Maps – Separates the business from others also placed on Map – See ex. image for Pizza Hut – Logo suggested at the minimum)
      • Google Notes: ‘Using Picassa or similar image hosting service is recommended‘ – This would also facilitate an easy central updating point if all images were referenced/pulled from a URL rather than an uploaded file.
    • Videos (Need to have been uploaded to YouTube first)
      • (great SEO opportunity if videos are informative – Customer reviews might be good to show here)
    • Additional Details
      • Ex. Parking available, Brands carried, etc.
      • SEO opportunity to list out specific targeted services of your business – See example image)
      • Google Notes: ‘Create custom attributes that allow you to include additional information that you’d like customers to know. For example, you can list what brands you carry, or if your business has parking.

B. If the business does exist: (Verification either via a postcard or phone at end of editing process)

  • Same process as above, but with an added ‘verification‘ step. Expect either an email or phone call (your choice) from Google to verify the business listing. If you are not the person at the listed address or phone number, call or notify somebody that is to give them advance notice.
  • If there are multiple businesses that are being listed, Google offers a bulk loading option. Minimum of 10 listings are required to use this feature and up to 100 listings can be made with one Google Account ID. An excel spreadsheet works for this process (more on this here: http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=28…).
  • If a business is verified by the business owner, a ‘Owner-verfied listing‘ link appears in listing.

Miscellaneous:

  • Listings usually appear after 12 hours.
  • Google adds these items automatically (if available):
    • Reviews
    • Driving/Transportation Directions
  • Listings display across various platforms / devices
    • Desktop (Google Earth), Web Browsers, iPhone & iPad (Google Maps, Google Local, One Box), Smartphones (Mobile Maps, Google Directories), Voice/Mobile Devices (Goog-411, Directory Assistance, Google SMS).
  • Ability to also fix an incorrect marker location on Google Maps is also given when editing.
  • If there are multiple offices at the business location with different phone numbers, you can add more if needed, but one will remain as the ‘main phone’.
  • With a Google Places account comes a ‘Dashboard‘ to track impressions coming from either a ‘Google’ or ‘OneBox’ Search. ‘Actions’ (when ‘users showed interest in your business listing‘) are also displayed along with ‘Top search queries’. Plus ‘Where driving direction requests come from’ info is given. ‘Offers’ such as coupons or specials can also be added to appear alongside you listing in Google Maps. Paid ‘Google Tags’ can also be managed from this Dashboard.

Here are some images to better illustrate this valuable process for marketing your business:

 

Other Valuable Resources:

Or for a detailed PDF of this post, download it for free here: Downloadable PDF for Business Listing Claiming Process in Google Maps.

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio

 

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous

 


Dec 3 2010

PPC vs. SEO. Which one will prevail?

Great debate over PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for this week’s SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday. Which one to use? Watch the video to decide!

SEOmoz – SEO Software

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous

 


Jul 6 2010

Google Looks at Long Tail Keywords Differently now

People are becoming smarter and smarter when they search online now. Instead of weeding through the search results when performing searches, a more detailed combination of keywords are being entered into their search fields. These are known as long tail keywords and since May 2010, Google is looking at these differently.

An example of a long tail keyword search:

The average person searching at the research phase will use a competitive generic keyword such as “party dress”. Not long after searching and seeing some high prices they will modify their search to something like “cheap party dress.” Now we are already into long tail keyword territory but it can go further. As the search deepens the searcher realizes that pink is the trendy colour at the moment, or pink is what she fancies wearing on her next night out, so then she is using the long tail keyword “cheap pink party dress.”

If you’re interested, read more about it in an article entitled, ‘The Importance Of Long Tail Keywords Since The Last Google Algorithm Update from Site Pro News.

Chris J. Politzki

Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous


Jun 25 2010

To Buy Links or Not to Buy Links, That is the Question…

Leave it up to SeoMoz to tackle this subject… Always enjoy their White Board Friday Sessions and this week doesn’t fail to impress, yet again! Nice work guys!

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous


Sep 18 2009

Newly Developed Widgets Live and Tracking Death Statistics!

SEO company and Web Design & Development studio collaborate

Our design & development studio recently completed a widget development project for a local SEO company here in Denver, Colorado. Together, we developed a strategy for creating the all-important backlinks to a Texas attorney’s web site. The group over at seOverflow here in Denver is quite a talented group of SEO gurus that assisted the Studio 119 Design & Development team with the preliminaries for creating widgets for the Jim Adler & Associates team in Houston, Texas.

seOverflow-Studio119-logo

The Widget for Car Accidents

What do these ‘Death Statistic Widgets’ do?

Good question! They simply track 5 different types of deaths across the United States. There’s a widget for Car Accidents, one for 18 Wheeler Accidents, one for Drunk Driving Deaths, one for Mesothelioma Deaths, and also one for Motorcycle Deaths. All five come in 3 different sizes; 300 x 250 pixels, 240 x 400 pixels, and 160 x 300 pixels. All perfectly suited to implement into your blog or web site. Each one respectively tracks the total death numbers to date for each specific type of death. Each day a new number is displayed and oftentimes these numbers are updated hourly using a javascript which deducts the current day, compares it to the national daily average of deaths and returns a total number to date for the specified year.

You can download these widgets at either of these two landing pages:

  1. The Accident Awareness site.
  2. The Jim Adler Death Statistics site.

Why create Widgets for SEO?

Yet another good question… and the answer is easy. ‘To Gain Valuable Backlinks to Your Site‘, simply put. In the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) community, we all know that if you are able to gain links back to your site you can gain some valuable exposure within the Search Engines. Strategically placing targeted keywords within your anchor text (the words that appear within the actual link on the page, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term) also help the spiders that are crawling your site help determine what your site is about and how they should categorize it. Changing up the anchor text is also a common task. Backlinks also function as a sort of voting system in that they indicate that someone has taken the time to add a link back to your site and find your site’s content valuable.

The Death Statistic widgets have appearing on each one of them 2 and sometimes 3 backlinks. Two anchor text links and one image alt tag set on the image link. So as you can see, we’ve placed these within the actual widgets in hopes that people will implement them into their blogs and web pages to give us our precious backlinks to our site. A very unique strategy in my opinion and one that also worked well with our previously developed Dex Yellow Pages widgets.

It’s all done in the name of  ’Gaining Valuable Backlinks to Your Site‘.

Happy Widgeting everybody!

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio