Google Maps has always been an effective listing to get ahead of the crowd. With so many online, the competition is tough for businesses within certain categories. ex. web designer. If your business is specialized Google maps will most likely continue to work well for you.
Local Search Marketing
Now, we have new companies offering to get you ranked on Google Maps – within parameters, for a fee. It is a substantial fee.
How do you make a choice?
Can the companies be selling this info and NOT produce results? Part of your decision making comes from investigating the company: how long in business online is a BIG factor. It is too easy to charge you an annual fee and close shop. Local search marketing companies need a history.
The part of the equation difficult to pin down is: Google says they cannot guarantee placement on Google Maps, and suggest you buy their AdWords. Makes sense: if they are going to give a higher ranking it is going to be profitable for them. So, how can these companies say they can?
Part of the answer is in the keywords. If you are narrowing your keyword list to 5 – that is tough, for most businesses. The fine print of one company tells the client they, the company, can change up the keywords if they are not appearing on the first page Google Maps. The trouble with this is: keywords can be created and paid for by a client, but if no one ever searches under those words, these companies can validate themselves as delivering, but it isn’t “real”.
custom web designer loves Westies
That keyword could bring you to my website – but how many people will type that in a search? That is the trouble. Longtail keywords are known to deliver more “ready-to-buy-searchers”, to narrow down their search/save time. But choosing long tail keywords is tough, simply because: they ARE so long.
One company I researched had a video with a phone number at the end. Pricing sounded reasonable. Trouble came up when the no one answered either of their phone numbers and the pricing on the website was higher than the video. Since you have to make a decision somehow – this one is obvious.
One service these companies sell is to fill out your online directory listings. Fine, since most small business owners are short on time. But the fee is out of whack especially when one company requires you to fill in all the information and they will submit to listings.
I continue to search for someone who offers an affordable service for small business owners. The local search is the need for most of my clients, but someone who is interested in smaller budgets.