Thursday, September 16, 2010

Google Places Secret #1 - Small Things Can Change Everything in Getting the Phone to Ring

Google Places Secret #1 - Small Things Can Change Everything in Getting the Phone to Ring

My newest account has a company in Northern Palm Beach Florida.  His website text, title tags, and his address on his Google Places Listing all refer to Northern Palm Beach.  This may be technically correct for the neighborhood.  A quick search shows that there is a Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce.  But you see, Google Places doesn't always get these kinds of things right.  Or maybe the folks searching get it wrong. 

In any case, you won't find a Google Places map under Bakery Northern Palm Beach when you do a Google Search, but you will under North Palm Beach.  Moreover, to save characters, you get the same result with N Palm beach.

This is not an unusual occurrence, and this is the very kind of thing which separates the individual SMB (small business) owners who want to do this on their own from the professionals who do it all day long.

Examples abound, but commonly deal with the category of business you list under when you set up Google Places.  The issue of selecting the critical keywords for search goes beyond Google Places.  The category choices on any LSE (local search engine) or directory are limited, and Google's are one of the most complicated.  I have discussed that in detail here and here.

One client we have helped considerably is a roofing contractor.  He had done a fair amount of online work when we came to the account.  He knew that important keywords for his category were roofing, roofing contractor, and roof repairs. 

After a competitive analysis, keywords analysis, and actual evaluation of what Google Places would and would not have a map for, we found that re roofing was a major category that he had left out.  He is in a major metro area, and the addition of re roofing contractor gained him visibility on the outside 7 pack for Google Places in adjacent cities where he had not previously appeared.

These kinds of discoveries are not unique or even unusual for us. But it would be a shock to find a DIY customer who had the sophistication to find these huge potential keywords.  Imagine that your one time payment of under $1000 could result in multiple additional locations where your business could be found on Google Places.  In the case of the roofing contractor, one new job would pay many times the entire cost of hiring a pro.


Small Business Marketer in Philadelphia said...

Here is a question for you...

As a small business consultant serving local search clients in the Greater Philadelphia area, can you help me with this issue?

I have a roofer as one of my clients as well, but his company also offers other services OUTSIDE of roofing.

Since Google Places does not allow multiple listings for the same biz name, would you...

1- Use a category to explain his other services

2- Set up a separate Google Places listing using his business partner's address?

Thanks for your time!


-Kevin said...

If the service is closely related such as waterproofing, then I would list as category and explain more in the details at the bottom.

If it is a major part of the business and is really different, say patio installations, then I would set up a different dba and phone number and list at the same location. Ok to use partner's home instead.

Small Business Marketer in Philadelphia said...

Thanks so much!

You & I are then in agreement & on the same page.