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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Using Google to Reach Local Customers

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Google does a lot of things that can help local businesses market themselves and become more visible to potential customers. They recently announced a partnership with NBC that will have Google distributing ads on NBC channels while addressing local markets.

The classic local marketing tool from Google though, is still Google Maps and local search. This is especially true as more and more people use the Internet to shop.

Google has just made it easier to get your business listed (and keep it listed) by posting some official guidelines for quality listings. The new guidelines read as follows:

- Represent your business exactly as it appears in real life. The name on Google Maps should match the business name, as should the address, phone number and website.

- List information that provides as direct a path to the business as you can. Given the choice, you may want to list individual location phone numbers over a central phone line, official website pages rather than a directory page, and as exact of an address as you can.

-Only include listings for businesses that you represent.

-Don't participate in any behavior with the intention or result of listing your business more times

than it exists. Service area businesses, for example, should not create a listing for every town they

service. Likewise, law firms or doctors should not create multiple listings to cover all of their


-Use the description and custom attribute fields to include additional information about your listing. This type of

content should never appear in your business's title or address fields.

Google is also now offering a re-inclusion request option that will give businesses sort of an opportunity to appeal if their listing is removed. If that happens, and you are unable to get back in, remember that other sites have local search and map features too. Not that I'm condoning spamming those, which is one reason that you will not be allowed in Google in the first place. Either way, make sure not to look past your local audience.

Post provide by Chris, a content coordinator and staff writer for SmallBusinessNewz and the iEntry Network.


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