Google Map View Results

Yesterday I promised to let you know if my search showed up in the map results. There is good news and bad news on that front. For most businesses, the map view shows up in the regular search results. For anything related to web design, they are not showing up. If your business is not related to creative services, you should be fine. Google claims to be working on this problem. hmmmm

Here are my results viewed from map search.

My business shows up in less than 24 hours.

My business shows up in less than 24 hours.

In my next post I’ll show you how to add a coupon to your local listing.

December 8th, 2009 by Radiance | 1 Comment »

Social Media Strategies – Getting Local Map Listing on Google

Good morning. It’s a new week and time to learn something new. I’m surprised at the number of businesses that have not taken up the option to have a free local map listing on Google. Today I want to explain how to get that listing in several easy steps.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, take a look at the search below for “plumbers Abbotsford BC”.

Local Search Map Results on Google

Local Search Map Results on Google

Most people will click on the bubble on the map and here is what they’ll see as a result.

Listing as it shows up on the map.

Listing as it shows up on the map.

Steps to Getting Your Business on Google Local Map

  1. Go to Google’s local business page
  2. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to get one. They’re free.
  3. Sign in or get your Google account

    Sign in or get your Google account

  4. Fill in the form
  5. The form to be filled out

    The form to be filled out

  6. You can list yourself in up to five categories. Take advantage of all of them.
  7. Be sure to take advantage of category settings.

    Be sure to take advantage of category settings.

  8. List your hours of operation
  9. List your hours of operation

    List your hours of operation

  10. On the same page you can add payment methods, photos and even video which will show up when people click on your listing on the map.
  11. Sample of photos in listing

    Sample of photos in listing

  12. The final step is to select a method of validation.
  13. Select your method of validation

    Select your method of validation

    I found the phone verification happened very quickly (within a minute). If you’re using the first option, your business telephone number, then you need to be at your business to accept the call.

    That’s it. I set up my two listings today. I’ll let you know when they start to appear on Google. They’re not there yet.

    Please feel free to add questions or comments via the “Comments/No Comments” link below.

    December 7th, 2009 by Radiance | 2 Comments »

Social Media Strategies, a report from The Detroit News on small businesses and social media use

In an ongoing effort to find stories that talk about social media usage in small businesses, I follow a variety of news sources. Today I came across an article by Jennifer Youssef of the Detroit News that talks about the lag in small businesses adopting social media. She says,

Although social media has become a popular way for people to communicate with friends and relatives, the technology hasn’t caught on with most small companies.

Youssef reports on a study by Citibank and GfK Roper. The report found a low percentage of small businesses are finding social media sites to be useful tools for marketing, advertising and creating more business.

There’s a bit too much hype by PR professionals but Youssef includes some stories from actual business people.

Read the complete article here; The business of social networking.

What do you think of the article? If you have any questions or comments, please connect via the “No Comments/Comments” link at the end of this post.

December 3rd, 2009 by Radiance | 3 Comments »

Google Zeitgeist – After Michael Jackson, social media dominates the search world.

Near the end of each year, Google looks at the spirit of the times (zeitgeist for those of you who don’t speak German) and tells us what’s been happening in the world of search.

Search Trends of 2009

  1. The most searched for term: Michael Jackson – there was a big spike in search for his songs and his name around the time of his death.
  2. Fastest rising global search terms after MJ?
    1. Facebook
    2. Tuenti (popular Spanish social media site)
    3. Twitter.
  3. The three fastest falling search terms?
    1. Beijing 2008
    2. euro 2008
    3. heath ledger
  4. Vancouver 2010 does not show up on the fastest rising search terms for sports. No, l’equipe football is number ten with Olympics no where in sight.
  5. In food, acai berry is number one and peanut butter recall number 6.
  6. The top three recipes searched for? Chili, meatloaf, cheesecake. Does that say anything about a recession?
  7. Top five how to’s globally? How to kiss, draw, knit crochet and flirt. Does this mean people are staying home more and want someone to stay home with?
  8. For Canadians, how to kiss, draw, flirt and meditate come ahead of crochet. Maybe Canadians already know how to crochet.
  9. Are Canadians obsessed with their health. Of the top six News category searchs, three are related to the flu: swine flu, H1N1 and simply flu.

Probably the greatest predictor of search fame is that you’re already famous. And, you can see that plumbing services does not top the year’s search terms. That’s good. How is it good? Well, the term is a lot less competitive and you have a greater chance of being found. Also, with Google increasingly putting weight on local search, your plumbing business is even more likely to be found by the people you want to find you.

For 2010, having a fast loading, easy to navigate site will be extremely important. If you’ve been thinking about revamping your website, now might be the time. A student of mine was surprised to learn that there are fashions in web design. There are and if your site is loaded with Flash entries and busy pages, it’s out of fashion. People have become much less patient and if you don’t give them what they want now, they’ll leave and never come back. You can learn more about thoughts on landing page design from my series of posts on landing pages.

If you’d like to read the whole report from Google. you can find it here. Be prepared to browse for while. It is a window into what we’re thinking and it’s fascinating.

December 2nd, 2009 by Radiance | 70 Comments »