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How To Become a Google Local Guide

The creation of a the ‘Google Local Guides’ programme offers a great way of being able to review local businesses on a regular basis whilst also developing a level of trust with Google. In order to become a ‘Local Guide’, you will need to sign up at maps.google.com and then take a take a proactive approach in regards to uploading images, reviewing local businesses, updating business details which you know to be incorrect and many more.

Earning Perks As a Local Guide

Google Local Guides unlock Google perks like access to new features as they earn points.

As a Local Guide, you earn points for sharing reviews, photos and knowledge on Google Maps. Those points lead to higher levels of the programme as well as benefits such as early access to Google features and special perks from partners. At Level 4, you also unlock your first Local Guides badge, which helps your contributions to places get noticed.

Make sure you’ve signed up for updates by reviewing your email preferences on your Local Guides settings page.

Points, Levels and Badges

Earn points by contributing content to Google Maps. Score a place with ratings, describe your experience with reviews, share photographs and videos, provide insights with answers, respond to questions about a place, update information with place edits, add missing places or verify information by checking facts.

Maps contributionPoints earned
Review5 points per review
Review with more than 200 characters5 bonus points per review
Rating1 point per rating
Photo5 points per photo
In-stream video7 points per video
Answer1 point per answer
Respond to Q&As3 points per response
Edit5 points per edit
Place added15 points per place added
Fact checked1 point per fact checked

Local Guides levels

Reach higher levels as you earn points for your contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note – Points and levels can take up to 24 hours to be updated. Points do not expire, though they may decrease if content is removed for violating Google’s policies. Remain an active contributor on Google Maps to be eligible for perks and early access to new features.

Contact Us

If you would like any further information regarding becoming a Google Local Guide, Footprint Web Design have been at the forefront of web design and Social Media development for nearly 20 years. If you are looking for a website that truly represents your business, or advice on how to make your site stand out, then contact us today on 01883 372 488, or via email at info@footprint.co.uk.

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By | March 1st, 2018|Google Maps|Comments Off on How To Become a Google Local Guide

Is Your Business Listed On Google Maps?

There can be no doubt whatsoever regarding the potential offering by Google My Business listings for any business.

If you can achieve a first page ranking for any of your chosen terms on Google Maps, it is almost certain that web users searching for terms relating to your products and services will see your business details before almost any other.

Effective Marketing Method

Setting up or claiming (did you know Google may have set up a listing for you??) a Google Maps listing offers a great way of promoting important details about your business visible and you don’t Is Your Business Listed On Google Maps?even need a website to do it! If you are a small business owner, you really cannot afford to overlook this excellent form of free advertising.

Making The Most of Your Google Maps/Local Listing

Once your listing is fully activated, there are a number of different ways of making the most from this.

Please Note – The best way is to make the most of Footprint Web Design’s dedicated Google Maps SEO service.

A few tips include:

  1. Choosing the Most Appropriate Category– Google provides a choice of categories to which you can add your listing and you are not limited to one. Simply type the first few letters of your services into the category box and select the most appropriate results which are provided.
  2. Addition of Relevant Images – You can make your listing more attractive by adding a number of photos/images to your account. You can add a logo and background image to your homepage and up to 10 images in the listing itself.
  3. Encourage Reviews – We cannot over emphasise the importance of this tip – ask your customers to review and rate on your listing. Online reviews play a crucial role in helping to separate competing businesses and the chances are, the more positive reviews on your account, the higher your listing may rank and the more likely undecided customers may be to opt for your products and services.

If you have any further questions about the importance of Google Maps listings for small businesses and how they can be used to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Tel. No. 01883 372488.

Further Information

Footprint Web Design has been at the forefront of web design, development and marketing for nearly 20 years. If you are looking for a website that truly represents your business, or advice on how to make your site stand out, then contact us today on 01883 372 488, or via email at info@footprint.co.uk.

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By | November 15th, 2016|Google Maps, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is Your Business Listed On Google Maps?

There Are No Short Cuts To An Effective Google Maps Listing

Google My Business can be a very powerful tool for any business with a focus on their local area. If you can achieve a first page ranking for any of your chosen terms on Google Maps, it is all but guaranteed that prospective customers will view your business before almost any other.

Please see below for a recent example:

2016-05-24_1601

However it is very important to ensure that your listing is created correctly without cutting any corners.

A Common Mistake

Through the ‘Google My Business’ dashboard, users have the ability to set their radius of service around their physical address. This option is designed to allow customers to see how far a business is prepared to travel in order to visit a customer.

However, some business owners choose to be a little too greedy and instead of setting a realistic and accurate radius, set their radius to its maximum in the hope of ranking across several locations. The reality of the situation is that this will not work and you will instead find that you are only likely to rank around the actual, physical location of your business.

Setting A Realistic Radius

Rather than trying to trick Google into giving you rankings across a broader area than you should be eligible for, you should instead use a radius setting which realistically and accurately highlights the catchment area of your business. If your business legitimately covers a huge service area, that is fine, however you should not expect to receive any cross-location ranking boost just because of it.

The reality is that if you want to rank across several locations, you need a physical site in each major city that’s actually utilised and occupied by your team.

Please Note – There is a ‘black hat’ practice which involves purchasing virtual addresses purely for the location pin. This is something that should not be attempted as it goes directly against Google’s quality guidelines.

Further Information

Footprint specialise in creating individually tailored web marketing solutions designed to help take your business to another level. If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | June 8th, 2016|Google Maps|Comments Off on There Are No Short Cuts To An Effective Google Maps Listing

4 Tips To Help Get The Most From Your Google Maps Listing

Have you ever wondered how to get your business to appear in the Google Maps listings which appear at the top of many search results?

The image below highlights just how visible Google Maps listings can be in Google’s search results and now often appear above all of the organic listings.

Google_Maps_Listing

These listings offer the ideal opportunity to provide potential customers with easy access to important information about your local business at the precise moment they are searching for the products or services that your business can provide.

In a previous blog we offered details relating to setting up a listing on Google Maps and in the article below we aim to take things a little further by offering our 4 top tips for getting the most out of the platform.

Tip No. 1 – Follow Google’s Quality Control Guidelines

The first step in ensuring that your listing is geared for success is making sure that you have not cut any corners with the listing and taken the time to meet Google’s quality control guidelines.

Fortunately, Google takes the guess work away from this by offering in-depth information for anyone looking to optimise their listing via the business quality guidelines in the help section of the Places site.

The waffle is kept to a minimum and it is very easy to follow. To help you along your way, we have picked out 3 key pieces of information for any listing.

  1. Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.
  2. Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
  3. Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.

Tip No. 2 – Ensure Your Listing Is Fully Completed

If you are going to create a listing for your business, make sure that you fill out all of the fields. There is no point just providing the basics such as name and address, if you are not going to volunteer any more information.

It is Google’s constant aim to ensure that users of its search engine receive the best possible experience and to do this it needs to generate the most accurate results possible.

Whilst no-one is 100% of everything factored into Google’s ranking algorithm, it is widely believed that given a choice between two similar Places listings, Google is far more likely to display the more complete listing more prominently.

With this in mind, it is hugely important to ensure that you provide every snippet of information that you are asked to submit, including:

  • URL
  • Contact Details
  • Hours of Operation
  • Etc

Tip No. 3 – Choose The Most Accurate Business Categories

Along with a number of other factors, there are a number of very strong indicators that point to the fact that Google uses the category information of each listing to help decide how relevant your listing is to any particular search.

With this in mind, it is essential that you choose the right categories for your business from the options provided by Google when setting up the listing.

Tip No. 4 – Be Descriptive

Business descriptions are not always displayed (in part due to the device on which the search is being made) but you should always assume that your business description will be shown in full.

The description of the services available from your business may prove to be the difference between a potential customer clicking on your link and choosing to go with a competitor.

By | March 14th, 2016|Google Maps|Comments Off on 4 Tips To Help Get The Most From Your Google Maps Listing

5 Things You Did Not Know You Could Use Google For

Without Google, the world would be a very different place. Its ability to as a search engine is well known but did you know that simply finding the results which are best suited to your searches is not the end of Google’s capabilities?

The world of Google can be a weird and wonderful place sometimes and below we have dug out some of more unusual uses for this brilliant search engine.

Exploring The Stars

Are you curious about what lives out there beyond the stars? Google will let you explore a well known distant planet, and if you’re lucky, even have a chat with an alien!Google Webmaster Tools

The Mars Feature on Google Earth 5 allows users to explore the surface of the red planet.  Simply type “Meliza” into the search box and watch as you are transported to a secret part of the planet where you can have a char with a local alien. We have our suspicions that it may not actually be a real alien, so let us know what you think!

Learn To Fly

Ever wanted to be a pilot? Why not give this a try to see how your skills measure up! Visit Google Earth, press CTRL + Alt + A (Command + Option + A for Mac), choose your aircraft, and fly!

You can even simulate flying an F16 Fighter Jet. Click here to learn the flight controls.

Are You a Trekkie

Star Trek is one of those timeless shows that it popular throughout the generations. It is also a show that its fans take very seriously! If your second language happens to be Klingon, your luck could be in. Try using Google’s custom Klingon search. It’s a fun way to put a new spin on Google. It will even correct your grammar! And if you don’t speak Klingon, don’t sweat it. Google has their own Klingon translator and dictionary to help you out.

Take a Trip Back To The 80s

Were you an 80s kid? It may sound odd, but typing a random string of letters into Google Translate, then hitting the listen icon will prompt Google to beatbox whatever you wrote down. Try it yourself by copy pasting “pv kkk pkkk pvpvpv ppkk pddd  bschk bschk pv zk pv bschk pv pv pv bschk bschk bschk kkkkkkkkkk bschk bsch” into Google Translate and giving it a listen. Or click here and try!

Follow Your Flight

Just enter the desired airline and flight number into Google’s search box and instantly see the arrival and departure times in the results. Now you can keep up-to-date with any flight without having to constantly check the airline’s website.

Further Information

Footprint Web Design have been at the forefront of web design and development for nearly 20 years. If you are looking for a website that truly represents your business, or advice on how to make your site stand out, then contact us today on 01883 372 488, or via email at info@footprint.co.uk.

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By | March 9th, 2016|Google, Google Maps, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 5 Things You Did Not Know You Could Use Google For
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