Do you ever wonder how programs like Bing Maps, Google Maps or Apple Maps know where everything is located? Part of the process is up to business owners who have a physical location. Getting your business “on the map,” so to speak, is extremely important for growth and exposure. At first glance, it may simply seem like a way to ensure that customers can find you, but there is so much more to it than that. From improving search engine results to creating customer interaction, Map Listings actually play more of a part in today’s business world than you would think.
Map Listings provide a huge amount of advantages for businesses big and small. In comparison to creating a whole new website, it’s much easier to get some of the benefits of a web presence by securing a place on Bing, Apple, or Google maps. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know:
The days of Yellow Pages are coming to an end. Any more you will rarely meet someone who doesn’t use an online search engine such as Bing or Google to find information about local businesses. Thanks to GPS technology and other locational data, these search engines know where you physically are, making it easy for them to give you local results nearby. If your business is listed on the maps program associated with a specific search engine, it will be favored and displayed prominently near the top of a search result. Being on the map is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) without creating an entire website. Results are realized fairly quickly and all you need is some basic business information and a location to get started..
How much time do you spend per day answering phone calls giving basic information about your business’s hours and location? It can be time consuming and just plain frustrating telling people over and over that you open at 9am, or that you’re on the corner of 6th and Main. Your time and energy would be put to much better use refining your service or creating customer relations. If your business comes up nicely displayed in a search result like in the pictures above, your customers will instantly know whatever basic information is necessary without calling. Google Maps even allows you to create your own information fields for your business’s specific needs. For example, you can list the amount of fitting rooms in your store or if there is handicapped parking. Being on the map can give potential customers the best possible experience when discovering your business online.
This one is obvious, but still important. For Brick and Mortar stores, or any other businesses that bring in customers, being easy to find is key. It’s safe to say that most of use our phones to navigate these days. Considering the amount of people using Android, Apple, and Microsoft mobile phones, getting your business listed on any or all of those three maps will help bring in more customers.
While this isn’t exactly easy to measure with charts and graphs, we all know it’s an unconscious driving force behind why we choose to use specific services or products. Searching for an exterminator and coming up with an outdated, vague, and scant website for Joe’s Bug Killers will probably leave a bad taste in your mouth. But seeing a nice map listing at the top of your search results tends to make us believe in a company. These minor psychological influences aren’t as minor as we often think.
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. All of this access to the web from almost anywhere has created a huge amount of online searches through mobile devices. Creating a mobile friendly website is no simple task. But you can give your business a mobile-friendly information hub by simply being listed on Google Maps, Apple Maps or Bing Maps. All of these websites and mapping apps are optimized to display well on any screen size. Even if your outdated website looks bad on cell phones, your Map Listing will give customers on mobile devices an easy way to learn what they need to know about your business.
Believe it or not, there is more to being “on the map.” Everything listed above may seem easily justifiable for the small amount of work that goes into creating a Map Listing, but those are just the immediate benefits you gain from being “on the map.” These listings also open doors to other useful tools for business owners.
By linking a Yelp account with a Bing or Apple Maps Listing, you will be able to show off glowing customer reviews of your goods or services, or learn from the more critical reviews. Google Maps allows for reviews as well, but it is done through its own service rather than Yelp. Asking your customers to leave reviews when they are satisfied is a great way to show the public that your business is the best when they see those 5 gold stars pop up with your company’s information.
Going the extra mile almost always pays off. Google offers its own Google Analytics service while Apple and Bing allow you to use Yelp Business Analytics. These tools can interface with the linked map services and provide important statistics. You can see data regarding web traffic to and from your Map Listing, bounce rates, and more. With this information, you can then go and fix problems or capitalize on successes. Insight is a powerful force for a business, and getting “on the map” will set up the first steps toward utilizing this useful tool.
We all know that businesses are run by human beings. Sometimes, showing the human side of your business is a good way to give customers a relatable feeling when interacting with you. It’s really easy to get caught up in the “business” aspect of running a business which can sometimes create a stale and boring image. Since humans are innately social creatures, most customers appreciate feeling like they’re dealing with a person instead of a robot when learning about your company. Map Listings give us the opportunity to show off some personality with social features such as photos and responses to customer reviews. The human element is an important, but often overlooked, part of running a business.
Navigating the digital marketing landscape can be incredibly difficult for beginners. For this reason, Skynet Solutions takes pride in providing transparent and effective online marketing services for businesses at all sizes. If you are interested in seeing how we can help benefit your business, we would love to talk to you. Check out the links below for more information on the different online marketing services we offer.