Local Search and Google Maps
As we work more and more with business owners in the Albuquerque area, getting them listed in Google’s Local Business Center, it’s always surprising to see how many established businesses do not have a web site! After several years of building websites for clients, I believe we understand the challenges that business owners face when trying to establish an internet presence for the first time.
There are so many technical issues involved that are very confusing for people who don’t spend a lot of time with the internet. Keywords, back links, blogs, the list goes on and on. We are happy to tell you that we have a very simple solution for the problem!
We’ve created a local business starter package for you that will get you up and running on the internet, and more importantly, get you into the new phone book, Google Places. This is a great way to begin your internet marketing presence for your business. It is designed to be easy to maintain and add to in the future. Just give us a call or drop an email, we’ll be happy to provide you with more information.
Just a quick post here for all the folks who have downloaded the free guide to creating a Google Local Business Center (LBC) listing. First off, if you haven’t noticed, Google has changed the name and or merged with Google Places. No big deal here.
What I really wanted to talk about was setting up Google Analytics to track traffic from your Local Business Center listing. While this is covered in the free guide, it is by far the most technically challenging part of the process. It took me a few tries to get it working. So if you have any questions about that part of the effort just drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help you out.
On a side note, I discovered something very interesting after I figured out the tracking issue. On one site in particular, I saw a 100% increase to site traffic after setting up the LBC listing. I thought wow, all that traffic coming through maps? The answer was no! What actually happened is that my traffic from Yahoo and Bing took a huge jump. It appears that the other search engines are scraping content from Google Maps listings and ranking it in their engines.
Just a little added benefit for your work!
Yesterday a friend showed me a free tool that saves you a lot of time setting up your listing in Google’s Local Business Center. You can dowload the free Google maps tool here.
This tool is very easy to install and use. Here’s what it does for you in a nut shell. It tells you which keywords related to your business will trigger a listing in Google maps withing Google’s universal search. This is a free source of traffic to your website, free is good! When you go to the link above, he has a video that describes the process in detail. He also sells a product that is essentially a course on Google map listings. I’ll try and give you some feedback on that on a later date in case you are interested. After you install the program, there is a link to a video that shows you how to use it. As I said it’s very simple and works well.
In case you not clear about the ways traffic gets to your website, check out my previous post and visit this page on my site that has a picture describing traffic paths to your website.
And of course you should sign up for the free 30 page guide that explains the whole process for getting a good ranking in Google maps with Google’s Local Business Center. That’s over to the right of the page. Did I mention it’s free too! 🙂
I had an opportunity to get out from behind my computer a few days ago and talk with some local business owners about internet marketing. It’s always nice to get some prospective from the trenches, and some fresh air! One thing that caught me a little by surprise was the lack of understanding on exactly how people arrive at their websites.
Just goes to show how too much time behind this monitor can develop into a distorted perception of reality, LOL.
So I decided to make a page with a pretty picture and some explanation on exactly how visitors get to your website. I hope this helps. And of course, if you have any questions, just drop me an email, my email is on the “About SLW” page in the navigation header at the top of the page. I’m almost always sitting here working on getting more traffic to somebody’s site!
I’m not sure what all the implications are just yet, but when I fired up Firefox a couple of days ago it asked me if I wanted to make my location available to location aware web sites. I will have more on this in the future, but it is obviously further evidence that many things are changing for the better when it comes to small and medium sized business trying to attract customers from their local markets.
This is great news for business owners who are struggling with budgets, trying to keep the doors open. If you aren’t marketing with Google maps and local search you better get busy! There is a lot of inertia involved in getting your website to show for your most relevant search terms, but once you get it ranking the traffic is free, can’t beat free advertising!
On of the hottest things going on right now for business owners who want to get exposure and traffic in a local market is Google maps and the Local Business Center (LBC). I’ve been involved in SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing on the internet for a few years now. Conventional SEO, while it is effective at getting lots of traffic, is very time consuming and slow.
That is not the case with the LBC! Take a look at this graphic –
This is a screen shot from the analytics account of one of my customers, a custom furniture maker here in Albuquerque. He is a small one man shop. His site traffic has always been small as he never wanted to go to the trouble and expense to get ranked high in the organic rankings. His site severed more as a photo album for his traffic and that was just fine with him. What the graphic shows is that he was running along at about 40 – 50 visits a week to his site until the end of January. That’s when I put a simple listing into the LBC for his business. The very next week, his traffic doubled! Not only is he getting more calls, but his walk in traffic has increased as well.
The thing that amazed me the most was the speed with which this change occurred. Normally, any type of SEO is very slow. With the LBC, your changes are recognized within minutes. There is simply nothing that compares with this in terms of making your phone ring!
If your business is not in the LBC your missing the boat. If it is, make sure it is well optimized. There’s lots that can be done in the LBC to increase the number of views that it gets.
My partners and I have been doing web design and SEO (search engine optimization) for a few years now. Recently a huge new player has emerged on the scene that changes everything you have done in the past to get customers to your local Albuquerque business. I’m talking about Google local search and Google maps. SLW Consulting can help you understand why it is essential that you get your business listed on Google maps, and get it ranking high. Not only can we do it for you, but we are also going to teach you how to do it yourself for free! So if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, we can help! If not, we understand. It is a lot of work, especially for someone who has a business to run. So bookmark this site and come back often. Feel free to drop us a line when you get stuck and we’ll do our best to help you out!