Saturday, May 17, 2008

Google Maps & Increasing Your Local Web Visibility

Google I've posted previously about listing your business on Google Maps. Because Google Maps come up on the top of the page for search results, I think it's a critical part of an online marketing strategy. Although I have a listing, I realized that my listing wasn't coming up near the top for several local searches. So I've spent much of the week researching the factors that are involved in the Google Map ranking. And it's different from regular Google and other search engines.

Once you have a listing, one of the main factors that affects your ranking is having a listing in your local Yellow Book directory. Personally, I've had a business listing in the past with little results. If you don't want to pay for a listing, being listed in some local online directories can still accomplish the goal of raising your Google Maps exposure. Even if you don't have a listing with Google Maps or any other map site, you still want to be in your local directories. I was surprised to see that local directories were tremendously underutilized for notaries in my area. I've added my business to Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, & Yahoo Local (I've also tried to add my listing to Infospace.com - update: I've discovered that Infospace gets its info from Superpages). They're all free. Make sure your listings are all consistent. They should have the same title and the same information. This way, Google Maps and others will recognize that it's the same business. Fill in as much information as possible. The more complete, the better. And choose the right category. All of the directories I've mentioned had a specific category for notaries.

Add a listing to MSN, which also has its own map site called MSN Live.

Cumbrowski Internet Marketing has an in depth list of local sites and links to articles on increasing local exposure. Small Business SEM & Blizzard Internet Marketing both have excellent articles on how to rank better in Google Maps.

3 comments:

Renee Kovacs said...

Alex, you are TOO KIND! Thank you for all the time you put into the research on this - and for helping me, your BIGGEST competitor, when I needed it.

You're such a testament to the virtues of NETWORKING ... and to the intrinsic value in just being nice, even to the competition.

A.G.Y. said...

I didn't know YOU were reading this! Dang, giving away all my secrets to the notary next door.

Local said...

Great recommendations!

If I might add another online business directory, Localville.com is now in open beta, and features free listings (which do link to your Google Maps listing) and premium listings, including video listings.

As I said, the site is still in open beta, but it's growing fast, with over 600,000 listings at last count.