Google My Maps Marketing And SEO Strategy

Benefits Of Using Google My Maps

One of the more unique tools offered by Google in recent months is its new “My Maps” functionality.   The ability to use for real world marketing, online marketing, SEO, boosting your YouTube videos, boosting awareness of your website’s (or other web property’s) images, inner pages and posts, and “Tier 2” link building is impressive.

 

What Is “My Maps”?

Unlike regular Google Maps, which promotes specific locations such as your corporate headquarters or store locations, this tool enables you to make an indefinite number of “maps” which you can customize and use to show the public several aspects of your business.   For example, you can create a custom My Maps map of:

  • Cities where your customers or clients are located anywhere around the world
  • Specific locations where you may have been a public speaker
  • Locations where you have been an exhibitor at trade shows
  • Event venues where you have performed or had your products (or services) used
  • Any other way you can think of displaying relevant geographic information in a visual manner rather than a simple list

 

Why Should I Consider Using This My Maps Method?  What Benefit Can It Give Me To Make My Phone Ring Or Otherwise Grow My Business?

These are great questions!

Since this is a Google-owned property, which you can access using your Google account that you likely already use for YouTube/Gmail/Docs/Blogger (Blogspot) blogs/etc., you will easily be able to create many of these maps.  The benefits are many, including the flexibility to highlight subsets of your business such as “Client Locations In 2015” (and you can do another My Map for a previous year like 2014) or some of the benefits mentioned earlier.

In terms of online marketing and SEO benefits, you surprisingly can get more benefit out of these My Maps than you may realize.  Here are some specific things you can do with these Maps:

  • Most people don’t know that these My Maps can rank on their own in the search engines, much like a YouTube video can rank on its own.  Be sure to do proper keyword research and put the keywords in the correct My Maps fields
  • In the description field include your business “NAP” (for citations) and your phone number, if appropriate
  • In the description field link to your website, your social media properties, and any other web properties that make sense to promote (e.g. a press release distribution account central location, YouTube channel, guest post that features your business favorably, etc.)
  • Embed optimized YouTube videos in the specific map marker locations to help with local SEO for videos
  • Embed optimized (including geo-tagged) images in specific map marker locations
  • Link to inner pages on your website (or other web properties) which are relevant to the geographic area defined by the map marker
  • Much more

 

What To Do With These My Maps Once They Are Created?

You can do several things with these custom My Maps, both with the direct link and using iFrame embed code.  You can:

  • Embed the My Maps iFrame code on your website, blog or other primary web property
  • Share the link to the My Maps URL on your social media properties
  • Share the link in any e-mail newsletter you have
  • Make a QR code to the specific URL and share the code on print materials at trade shows, business cards, or other marketing done in the real world
  • Have the iFrame code get embedded on third-party web properties to send traffic to the My Maps page
  • Many other ways to market the link to the My Maps page (URL)

 

If you would like help on creating, marketing, getting search engine marketing benefits, or getting real world benefits from these custom Google My Maps then you are welcome to contact us.   We can help you gain more exposure to the My Map as well as promote your website and other web properties.

 

Examples Of These My Maps

Here is an example of a My Map for an optometrist in Dallas who wanted to promote the neighboring businesses near his office location:

 

Here is an interior designer based in Dallas, listing the nearby cities and suburbs where she has clients:

 

 

Here is a DFW real estate agent who lists some North Texas new neighborhoods where the home builders are offering incentives for prospective home buyers:

 

Here is a Map of client location history for a defense attorney who specializes in health care fraud cases such as those pertaining the False Claims Act, CLIA, Medicaid billing, anti-kickback and similar medical industry situations:

 

Here is a My Map featuring some of the locations of a commercial modular construction manufacturing company’s recently completed projects across the United States:

 

And here is a ranch and farm real estate broker’s My Maps listing of counties and towns featuring recently sold ranches and agricultural properties in Texas and Oklahoma:

YouTube Playlist Optimization And Marketing

YouTube playlists.  Whenever I mention these to clients, there usually is some sort of indication of confusion or other state of uncertainty as to what they are as well as how to use them for marketing purposes.

The benefits of understanding YouTube playlists, however, are worth the effort for several reasons.  Here are just some:

  • It is possible to rank # 1 for local keywords in YouTube, sometimes within as little as one hour
  • In the description you can put your phone number and primary company address or store location
  • You can use the description field to boost your primary web properties like your website, LinkedIn page, Facebook page, local business directories, etc.
  • If done right, the actual playlist page (URL) could rank well on its own in the search engines
  • You can share the playlist via social media
  • Just like a single YouTube video, you can embed the playlist’s videos on a website or blog
  • The iFrame embed code permits the ability to add one anchor text before you start embedding the code, just like a single YouTube video
  • You can create a QR code to the playlist
  • If you ever want to add or subtract (or reorder) videos in the playlist you can, but the link (URL) and embed code won’t have to be changed/amended anywhere you originally posted it
  • Many other benefits

 

So Why Use A YouTube Playlist Instead Of Just A Video?

If you only have a small number of YouTube videos uploaded, but you want to rank well in YouTube’s search engines (plus gain possible exposure in the main search engines), you can reuse your same videos over and over in various playlists.  This presumes, of course, that the videos you use are relevant to the keywords for which you want to rank and gain exposure.

The big benefit is that you don’t have to incur the time and production costs of having to make individual videos for each keyword.  You are welcome to do so, and more value-added & relevant videos always are beneficial to your business; but if you can’t produce more video content due to the time and expenses then you can use your current content over and over to your benefit.

In order to make this work, however, you will need to add videos from OTHER YouTube channels which have permitted “embedding”.  Most publicly-available YouTube videos are permitted to be embedded.  Should a particular channel’s owner decide to turn off embedding then that video simply will drop out of your playlist when viewers watch it.

Are There Any Special Tricks To Make This Work?

Actually, you won’t have to resort to “tricks”.  Just make the playlist description and the included videos relevant and value-added.  For example, here is a recent playlist based around commercial modular construction companies (go here).

Over time, the company plans to have more videos of its own; but it also has added videos explaining certain concepts and varying types of modular construction approaches.   Those other videos are from other YouTube channels, but when combined it can help (“adding value”) give the viewer a better understanding of that section of the construction industry.  By NOT being self-serving, and including others, they are able to add a robust, keyword-rich description plus include a link to their website and add their phone number.

 

Local businesses, who want to rank well in YouTube for local keyword phrases, should add at least three kinds of videos:

  • Their own currently-uploaded videos which are relevant to the keyword for which they want to optimize
    • Alternatively, they can use a video on someone else’s channel which features their business favorably
  • Authoritative videos which are relevant to the specific town, county or region
  • Authoritative videos relevant to the subject matter

 

Here is one such playlist which meets all three of those, and over time the company likely will add more videos to the playlist meeting all three video types.   If you want a few more examples of local businesses ranking well with their playlists then you are welcome to look at these:

 

What About E-commerce Sites?

The same principle works for e-commerce sites.  Just make the link in the playlist description link to the specific product (or product category) page.  One company which sells specialty hams by mail has done this by adding videos discussing recipes with leftover ham.  You can watch the embedded playlist here:

 

That’s Great, But Once I Have A Playlist Properly Optimized…. What Do I Do With It?!?

This is a fantastic question.  You have many options depending on your goals.  If it simply is to make your phone ring, be sure to lead the playlist with your desired video; and make sure that video is optimized with your website, address and phone number.  Contact us if you need help with this or anything else mentioned so far.

As mentioned earlier, you can share the playlist on social media in order to boost the view counts.  Just make sure that your social media followers will gain real value from watch all of the videos.  This is why they need to be “value-added” and explain confusing topics, confirm beliefs, refute myths, add humor, generate emotion or otherwise give some sort of value.

Here are some other actions which can be done:

  • You can use YouTube as its primary purpose:  as its own community/social media property
    • You can comment on other videos, leave channel discussions, and other participatory actions within the YouTube community to attract traffic naturally to your channel and playlists
  • E-mail the playlist to your newsletter subscribers
  • Embed the playlist on relevant pages on your website or blog, with an explanation as to why a website/blog visitor should watch the playlist
  • Buy low-cost, but still very targeted traffic, to the playlist URL and/or one of your web pages which has the playlist embedded.  Google Display Network ads are great for this, but you have to be smart as to how you go about targeting and bidding.  Your ad sales copy (text or banner/image) also plays a role here
    • Note that this is NOT the regular Google Search Network
  • Buy ads to your playlist link/URL from relevant videos within YouTube.  You even could pay to get traffic from the videos of your competitors, but be careful here and make sure that you are compliant with all laws and regulations before doing this
  • Get the playlist embedded on third-party blogs for the ranking purposes
  • There are several other things you can do with the playlist so contact us for suggestions and help

 

This is just the beginning of what can be done with playlists and the marketing of them.  Send us your questions and we can help you specifically or make future blog posts about this method of online marketing.

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