Sunday, January 1, 2012

Google Places Secrets - Mistakes People Make - Location Setting

I've been saying for three years that Google Places is the most complicated tool on the internet.  No one has ever sent me a comment on any such post saying:  "You are all wet, Randy.  Here is a more complex or difficult aspect of the internet."  If you think you have something that qualifies, please add your comment below.

I'm going to be posting a list of little known or used or understood Google Places Secrets that confuse most who only dabble in the Google Places world, and even some who are claiming to be experts.  The first is the issue of location - where your computer is vs where your business location is, and where your customer base is.  You see, Google knows or thinks it knows where you are.  And when you do a search, it tells you where it thinks you are.  Look at the left hand column and you will see that my computer correctly surmises that I am in Kihei HI.  I'm on vacation, and the computer has communicated with Google that my trusty laptop is now with me on the trip.

Also note that under the City and State, there is a spot where you can "Enter Location."  It is as simple as it appears, you merely enter the zip code or city state you wish to "be in" for purposes of search, and Google will oblige you.

Why would you want to change your location.  Well my vacation example is a good one.  My business is not in Kihei, so if I want to review my ranking under Google Places or the Everything search, I am going to need to change my location to the city or zip code where my store is located.  I can, of course, use a search term such as "marketing consultant los angeles" which will give me geotargeted results.  However, as you undoubtedly know or expect, this will not be the same result as changing your location and using "marketing consultant" as the search term.

You can also use this tool to check the search results for suburbs or zip codes in your service area.  In Los Angeles, a 20 mile radius can include 5 cities or 10 zip codes.  If you are expecting to reach clients beyond your primary city or zip code, you need to know what you are competing with.  Using the location tool will help you get more accurate readings.

1 comment:

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