Monday, November 19, 2012

Google Maps: Where Online Marketing Begins

I used to be surprised at this, but it's so common I've almost gotten used to it. Small business owners pay little attention to their places on Google's maps. I've seen elaborate and expensive websites online, with no link whatsoever to the map. I would have thought that the website builder, having charged the client sometimes thousands of dollars would show them this. Often they don't.

I was called to a Greenville business last week that I'd never been to. I jumped in my car, spoke the name of the business into my Android GPS and followed the turn-by-turn directions. I was taken to...... a seedy-looking neighborhood 1.9 miles from the actual business! Now understand, this business had been there since 1999. When I pointed this out to the business owner, she shrugged it off. The very next day, while I was there, someone else was trying to find her business and was calling in to find out why her GPS couldn't find it. I looked at the map on my laptop and found that the marker was in the wrong place. I showed her how to move the marker to the correct location on the map. My experience is that most people don't realize you can even do this.

 I moved it, and the very next day, Google approved the change and she is now correctly located on Google's map.

I wonder how many potential customers went to another service provider because they couldn't find this business.

My theory is that some people don't place any importance to it because it's free, and because they think that since they're on the map, Google is on top of it. Nothing could be more wrong and potentially so costly. And the really
sad part is that it can be corrected with little investment in time, and no investment in money.