Dominate Organic Results with Google Maps and Social

For a new website it is not easy to get to the TOP of Organic Listings in Google using standard white hat SEO techniques and Ranks from Black Hat techniques do not last.  It is important for new, small website to look at alternate strategies to gain traction the web.

Local Search Optimization and Social Media Monitoring and Participation is one such alternate technique for Geography specific Brick and Mortar businesses ( e.g. Doctors, Lawyers, Restaurants, Bakeries).At the buying decision/ Purchase stage the Search Queries  for such businesses tend to have Local  Search Qualifiers or Social Search Qualifiers. For example “Sushi in Manhattan???, “budget hotel NY 11001???, “Review of The Sushi Place??? etc.

Blended Local and Social Media Strategy can contribute significant Traffic, Customers and Revenue to such Local businesses.

Did I say Blend Local and Social?? Here’s what I mean..

Local Search targets the prospects while they are exploring options. If you own a Sushi Restaurant in Manhattan, you want to be visible in the search result for all “Sushi + Manhattan??? searches. Local searches tend to have better conversion rate than other Key Phrases. These are the top sites that impact Local Search Visibility :

Maps.google.com
Yelp.com
Insiderpages.com
Local.Yahoo.com
Citysearch.com
Local.com
Google Maps
is the primary entry point into the Local Search space.

Social Media and Opinions influences the buyer’s decision to buy your product or service over competition . Positive Recommendation and User Testimonials go a long way in influencing the buying decision.
Websites and Business can dominate the Organic Results on Search Engines by Blending Google Maps and Social Media strategy with the Optimization Program.

Here are 3 simple steps to Blend Google Maps and Social Media strategy with the Optimization Program.

Step #1. Optimize your website for Local Search

Step #1.1. Add Local Information to the website
Create a page for each location of your business. Embed Google map on each page. Add driving directions, area map and local point of interest on the page. Write the meta data to include Geographic modifiers.

Step #1.2.  Submit to Google
Create Geo-Sitemap with KML reference and submit it to Google Local from an authenticated Google Webmaster Tools account.

Step #2. Optimize your Google Map Listing

Step #2.1. Evaluate and Revive your existing Google Map listings
Or, Create Your  Listing

Google Maps picks up data address and other location specific data for directories and other sources, if businesses do not volunteer data. Search for your Company Name’s name on Google Maps to get the information in Google’s database.
Rectify the information if the information is incorrect or dated. To rectify the entry one has to submit the correct data in the Google Local Business Centre and verify it over Phone or mail.
If you do not find information about your business on Google Maps create a new entry in the Google Local Business Center and verify it over Phone or mail.

Step #2.2. Spruce up the Google Map Description
Edit the listing to add description about your business or company and also key search phrases. Include city name and Neighborhood information. Include hours of operation, pricing information and other details. Add high quality and relevant images of the business.

Step #3. Monitor and Participate in the Social Media

Step #3.1.  Monitor the web for Google Maps Description
Google Maps pulls data and reviews from multiple sources ( like Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com) for the Google Maps listing. These sources vary by the industry. Identify these sources by examining your listing and other listings in the category. Monitor the discussion and try to resolve any issues with the reviewer. Encourage reviews from happy customers.

Step #3.2. Get active in Social Space.
Monitor the Social Media and Review platforms for positive and Negative comments about your business. Participate in the discussions and defend your brand. Never fake comments. Learn from the customer feedback.

Bhaskar Thakur

Digital Transformation & Marketing Leader , Growth Enabler, Recreational Runner, Learner & Seeker. On this blog I share my perspective on Technology, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Growth, Health, Running and Biking.