Everyday millions of consumers use Google to search for businesses and the products and services they intend to buy. Google Local and Google Maps have teamed up to provide an extension of this service and can be used as part of a holistic search marketing strategy.
In addition to the organic search results and pay per click ads on Google, Google now generates a third set of search results in response to a search enquiry, providing a short list of relevant local businesses plus a general map of the area pinpointing where each of the businesses are located. Businesses can also advertise through this service so that when their pinpoint on the map is scrolled over a popup shows their business details, including address, phone, opening hours and payment options.
Clicking on one of the business names links the user to their website, while clicking on one of the pinpoints on the map links the user to Google Maps for a detailed street map, a greater choice of options in the area, plus detailed business information such as contact details.
The internet giant also added a business search service to Google Maps, giving users the option of using the main Google Maps site to find businesses of a certain category in a geographic area.
Another feature Google has added to its Google Local and Google Maps service is business reviews and ratings where users can add comments, feedback or testimonials under the ‘more info’ field.
To help plan their trip, users can use Google Maps to get directions and create a route planner for travelling by foot, bike, car or public transport to your business. Plus, using high-resolution satellite images, Google Maps can show the street view of your business and its surrounds, a feature available for most urban areas.
A free listing on Google Maps gives your customers another easy way to find you.