“Location” is the hottest trend in marketing these days. Between start-ups like Foursquare, fast-followers like Facebook and established players such as Google it is a rapidly changing space. At this point Hoeferweb is making two firm recomendations to its clients: Stake you claim on Google Places and Facebook.
- Stake your claim on Google. Formerly known as “Local Business Center” Google recently named this service “Places” in part, I think, to cash in on the “Location” cache.One way I like to think of a Google Places page is that it’s the simplest way to get a basic listing for your business on the Web. The primary reason I recommend this simple task to clients is because there are few other actions you can take to directly impact the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) as having an up-to-date, in-control, Places page. It’s a smart move and savy move as one of your SEO (Search Engine Optimazation) tactics.Once you verify ownership of your page (a Googlebot will call your business phone # with unique PIN# to prevent others from doing so) you will be able to update you page with information, photos and even a video clip. You can list hours of operation, forms of payment accepted, and other info.Google will begin sending you a basic monthly report that show the number of “impressions” (times your listing showed up on a SERP) and Interactions (clicks etc) that users had with your page. If people use you places page to get driving directions to your location it will even let you know thier starting point. It is a neat way to understand your businesses territorial reach.
Google is widely rumored to be working on a social network similar to Facebook it is likely that your Google Places page will play a part of that effort by allowing people to “Check-in” to your place while visiting your establishment. You can improve your SEO efforts AND be a step ahead by setting up your Google Places page today.
- Facebook Places. Reacting in part to presure from insurgent start up Foursquare, Facebook has recently implemented thier own version of places and check-ins called “Places”. With more than 500 million registered users, Facebook has the built-in user base and social graph to take location based check-ins mainstream.Facebook has a process similar to Google for business owners to verify ownership of their “Place”. Restaurants, Bars, Coffee shops, performance spaces, or any other organization that has a venue where people tend to gather should take steps to claim and confirm the information Facebook has on your location. It’s human nature to want to give a “shout-out to my peeps” when you arrive at your destination, by registering your “Place” with Facebook you can leverage this desire for more foot traffic and secondary brand awareness and marketing.Mashable has good overview of the service here
What’s next in this space? People are already talking about “Check-In fatigue” and the service providers are looking at ways to (with your permission) automatically check you in when you arrive at your favorite Coffee Shop.
Google is my top recommendation for all organizations due to the immediate impacts you can have on your overall SEO performance. Once that is in place, organizations that rely on folks gathering should proceed with claiming their Facebook Place.
Please let me know if you have any comments, questions or if Hoeferweb can be of assistance with your Internet Marketing program.