Friday, September 30, 2016

Google My Business Offers Guidelines for Working With Local SEO's

The help section of Google My Business recently added a new page dedicated to working with third parties, namely local SEO's and search marketing providers. The focus of this new section, named Working with third-parties) is to provide business owners with guidelines when choosing to work with a local SEO company or consultant.

In the new section, Google states:

"While Google My Business is free, third-parties often charge a fee to manage your listing. They can provide valuable services like keeping your listing up-to-date, providing you with customer insights, answering your questions, and responding to reviews. It’s important to understand the benefits you may be getting from a third-party so you can evaluate whether you’re getting the best return on your investment."

Google also outlines various "best practices" on how to work with a third-party search marketer or local SEO provider. These include:

  • Being selective
  • Working with one at a time
  • Educating yourself
  • Trusting experience
  • Evaluating your performance

Lastly, Google shares some insights surrounding deceptive behavior, mentioning that although "Many third-parties represent the best interests of their clients... some third-parties are less reputable." The red flags that might indicate deceptive behavior include:

  • Not being transparent
  • Guaranteeing placement on Google 
  • Claiming to work for Google
  • Making threats
  • Deceptive pricing

For a complete overview Google My Business guidelines for working with local SEO's, see the screenshot below of the new section (source from Search Engine Roundtable.

Get the full scoop by clicking here or check out the Google Maps Help Center for more information about Google My Business and Google Maps marketing.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Google Includes Ride-Hailers Gett & Lyft to Google Maps App

Google recently announced that it plans to include U.S. ride-hailing brands Gett and Lyft to its mapping service.

Google Maps

The Google Maps app now has ride-hailing services Gett and Lyft (alongside Uber who's been in the system since 2014.) The intention of this move is to provide users with more options beyond Uber and other transportation options, like driving, public transit, walking, etc. The app will show pick-up times, fare estimates, and (expected lower fares depending on brand and pick up time.)

Google Maps Gett Lyft
A snapshot courtese of the official Google Maps blog.

Google & Uber Continue to Evolve

Meanwhile, Uber has hinted to have its own mapping service under construction whilst Google is rumored to be establishing its own ride-hailing network.

Google Maps previously made Gett available for users in the U.K. Now this brand will be competing in the U.S. Currently, Gett is only available in New York.

Additions to Google Maps

A button is now available in the Google Maps App to to order a ride from Gett, Lyft, or Uber. Users can compare fares and hail the nearest ride available on the App. From there, a ride can be selected and the App will redirect users to the corresponding mobile app per ride-hailing service.

Overall, the new addition to Google Maps offers a seamless and immediately request for a ride, and now at more competitive fares.

Marketing Beyond Google Maps

According to an Uber spokeswoman, the rules for independent outside developers do not apply, as Google has formed a partnership with the software company similar to what Facebook had done previously.

However, Google Maps may soon retire Uber as the company is reportedly hashing over a $500 million investment to develop its own mapping system, lessening its need to depend on the Google Maps app, Science World Report said.

Lyft shared a similar explanation, but declined to comment on whether the company has financial ties to Google. Citymapper, similar app that also provides pick-up times and fare estimates for Uber and Lyft, is presumably forming a relationship with them as well.

The updates for Gett and Lyft are currently available iniOS and Android versions of the Google Maps App. These new players are expected to make it more efficient and cost-effective to travel. It also provides an incredible marketing opportunity for Lyft and Gett.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Google Maps Marketing: How to Get on Google Maps

If you pay attention to local SEO trends, then you’ve probably heard the term Google Maps marketing. Although many marketers and business owners are aware of the potential behind Google Maps and local SEO, most are blundered on where to begin.

Simply put, Google Maps marketing is an umbrella term. It's used to categorize various strategies designed to increase a business's visibility in Google Maps and the Google Local 3-Pack (shown below.)

Local Google Maps Marketing
When it comes to finding the best sushi in
San Francisco, where are you going to go?

In short, Google Maps marketing and local SEO use the functionality of Google Maps to make businesses easier to find. Not limited to just local small businesses, it's a powerful tool for a companies and brands operating on a local level.

The Importance of Google Maps Marketing for Local Businesses

As more and more people use the Google search (and Google Maps) to find businesses in their area, the power of local SEO continues to become a commodity with greater marketing  value. If your business doesn’t appear near the top of local search results, then potential customers are likely contacting your competitors.

Statistics show that over 50% of all  traffic comes from searches performed on mobile devices. Additionally, locally. With such an increase in mobile search engine use, it’s more important than ever to ensure your business is found.

By leveraging the potential of a local SEO and Google Maps marketing campaign, you can increase your business's mobile search ranking and overall visibility. Combined with responsive and SEO-friendly web design, Google AMP's, and mobile conversion rate optimization strategies, your business can greatly advance its marketing efforts in Google Maps.

How to Get on Google Maps: Getting Started

Many marketers and business owners want to know how to get on Google Maps. This is a broad question with a couple different answers (being found in the Google Local 3-Pack versus on Google Maps search.)

While there are specific local SEO strategies for each area of Google Maps marketing, below is simple way to get started.
How to Get on Google Maps
  • Claim your business listing. Claim and populate a Google My Business listing with accurate and complete information about your business. This is the foundation to your company's presence on Google Maps.
  • Double-check your address. When listing your business’s address on Google My Business, make 100% sure that everything is exact. Any discrepancy in your Google business listing and other business listings (i.e. Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Local, etc.)
  • Verify your listing. Google will suggest that you verify your listing. This can be done through a number of options, but a postcard submission is the most dependable. It can take a couple weeks, but when the postcard arrives, you can then verify your listing via a 4-digit PIN.

More to Google Maps Marketing

The latter tip is just the beginning of a business' Google Maps Marketing campaign. For more information on how to get on Google Maps (both Google Local 3-Pack and Google Maps,) visit As a full-service local SEO company, provides citations building, link popularity, content optimization and other Google Maps optimization and marketing solutions.