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Published On: Wed, Nov 20th, 2013

The New Google Maps and Your Business

  • Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have an existing business or are you thinking about starting your own business? Does your business have a physical address?

If your answer to the above questions are all “yes”, then you probably have been thinking of ways to put your business on the map (online) where potential customers could easily access and inquire about your business. Aside from a company website, the new Google maps has more to offer for businesses!

  • Do you know what a Google map is?
Google Maps is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google, that powers many map-based services, including the Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit,[1] and maps embedded on third-party websites via the Google Maps API.[2] It offers street maps and a route planner for traveling by foot, car, bike (beta), or with public transportation. It also includes a locator for urban businesses in numerous countries around the world.
  • Have you seen the new Google maps?

Watch the video below

and take a look at this snapshot of the new Google Maps
new-google-maps
Notable features of the new Google Maps:

  1. The entire map is interactive. Clicking anywhere will focus the map on that location and show you helpful things, like related places and the best ways to get there.
  2. You can now compare multiple modes of transportation -walk, car, bus or even bike, right on the map to find the best way there and the best way home.
  3. Google Earth are now directly integrated into the map.
  4. Google map gets better with use. As you search the map, star places you like and leave reviews, the map starts to adapt and can suggest things like restaurants you might enjoy or the quickest way home. In other words, the more you use the new Google Maps, the more helpful it becomes.
Let’s see how the new Google Maps works with me searching this local area for restaurants.

 piyesta2

When you type “restaurant” in the search bar,  businesses bubble up to the top on the map as bigger icons. If there is enough room on the map your business name is also drawn. Displayed directly below the search box are “filters” -“Top reviewers” and “Your circles.” If you search restaurants by your circles, restaurants that friends and family have reviewed (and anyone else you following on Google+) will “bubble” up to the top, like the screenshot below.

Searching Google Maps using "circles" as filter

Searching Google Maps using “circles” as filter

Let’s check out the top reviewers. Notice the “Top reviewers” filter actually says “by experts” in the search bar so this filter is based on reviewers that Google deems as expert. Who are deemed “expert” reviewers by Google? I don’t know. It would be safe to assume though that a “reviewer” with just a couple of sites review will be an expert by Google standards. A credibility check is probably in place to avoid the fake reviews.

Searching for "restaurants"  with "experts" as filter

Searching for “restaurants” with “experts” as filter

My map churned blank probably because Google has yet to “designate” someone as “expert” reviewer who reviewed any of the listed restaurants.I did see a few other restaurants which I’ve never tried but that made me want to visit because some of my friends (in circles that is) have tried the place!

Aside from Google Maps, there are other interesting new developments with the new Google Apps:

Interesting Google Facts for Business:

  1. Google is going social.  Google+ is now integrated into all of Google’s products, including the new maps.
  2. Google Maps now highlights places relevant to your search, places you have starred/visited, and reviews left by friends (circles) and others deemed as experts.
  3. The new Google Maps is taking advantage of your Google+ circles, customer reviews, and the business listing itself. Google displays your business in a nice card format which includes operating hours, ratings, reviews, photos, website, and a link to get directions.

Google Maps is becoming more interactively, social. The map becomes more customized the more you and your friends use it and share their own experiences.

What does this mean for businesses and business owners?

With over one billion monthly active users, Google Maps is undeniably the most popular way to explore places and get directions. A sizeable number of your potential customers are probably using Google Maps to find your business. You should be taking advantage of this!You can increase the chances of your business being found by potential customers, for FREE!

Things you need to do:

  1. Make sure your businesses is listed in Google Maps, using either Google Map maker and or Google Places for Business. Review your listings and make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date.
  2. You should encourage loyal customers to rate and review your business from within Google Maps. Customer reviews (experts or circles) will have a bigger impact on what businesses are seen on the new Google Maps.
  3. Create a Google+ landing page for your business if you don’t have one. Update your website links to include Google+. It’s being integrated into all of Google’s products and services, so take advantage of it.

Simply PUT, many of your potential customers are probably using Google Maps to find your business. Make sure your business listing is accurate and up to date. Encourage loyal customers to post reviews. And if they don’t want to, then maybe you can bribe them with a free coupon or beer. 🙂

About the Author

- I’m a traveler. I work fulltime as a medical professional. I go to different places most of the time I’m off my day job. I shoot photos for fun, hack computers for even more fun and play badminton as my exercise. And yes, I’m not rich.

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