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:

Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips Podcast

The other day I was invited by JenningsWire/ to be the guest on a podcast.  I was asked these kinds of questions regarding the recent Google update and what kind of Google Penguin update recovery tips may be useful to help businesses (both local and national) improve their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts:

  • Google had its Penguin 2.1 update in the beginning of October. What took place?
  • Why is link building still important? Shouldn’t people just be focused on social media now?
  • Some SEO professionals recommend to their clients that they build links in “tiers”. Why do you think this is the case?
  • What else is missing from most companies’ SEO efforts?
  • Researching keywords has changed recently as well. What recommendations do you offer that are unique and not commonly suggested?

You can listen to the podcast here or click the image below:



The audio content is roughly 10 minutes long.  One of the topics we covered is about using intelligent link building in the upcoming months.  Click this link for more information to read a recent article about which types of links to consider for your new link building efforts.

Thoughts When You Want To Buy PR5 Backlinks

I have added an updated blog post on the various thoughts to consider, and questions to ask, when you are looking to buy PR5 backlinks or any other links on pages with “authority”.  There are many factors to increasing the odds of your ranking # 1 in the search engines, and they go far beyond backlinks.

Nonetheless, an intelligent strategy employed when you buy high PR links should be a consistently good move.  People have asked me why high authority links vary so widely in price, from both the permanent links as well as those which cost money each month.  Many of the reasons why are explained in this new service offered:

Your options include finding an already high-authority site in your niche and paying for the link.  Likewise, you can find a page with PR5 and put your link on that (with contextual content or without) for a monthly fee.  You also can own the PR5 page by purchasing a quality domain and configuring it to meet your audiences needs with valuable, unique content and then include the desired keyword in the anchor text of the link.

These pages can further be shared with social signals such as sharing the helpful page on Facebook or LinkedIn.  You even may want to include images and/or videos if you are allowed to place your own blog post on the site, assuming that the content will remain on the page with the PR5.

You also have to see how many links are pointing to the site where your link will show up.  If there are too few links then that page’s PR is on “shaky ground” and may lose authority during the next search engine update.

Again, there are several factors to consider when looking to buy a PR5 link.  Make sure that where your link ends up truly has authority and relevance in order to give the end user a quality experience.  Be sure to click the link above to find out more about we can help you with your specific needs and budget.

Why Backlinks Are Important To Dallas and Fort Worth Businesses

Having helped many businesses in the Dallas and Fort Worth area over the past 3 years, I have noticed that most of local businesses do not know what a “back link” is; and they have no idea why it is important.  With the recent Google updates (Feb/March 2011), the search engines are doing what they can to make sure that they give their users the results which they believe are the most:

  • Trustworthy
  • Authoritative
  • Relevant

Why do they do this?  Because the major search engines are all significant properties of publicly-traded companies… and they don’t want their users going anywhere else!!  They want you to trust each implicitly, so that at some point you will click on one of the ads somewhere in their network of web tools & properties.  This is how they can justify spending millions of dollars to develop algorithms and tools which they can give away for free.

With that understanding, and assuming that you know that “X” number of people use a tool like Google to search for a particular phrase (i.e. “keyword”) each month, then the next step is to play by their rules in order to be considered the most Trustworthy, Authoritative, and Relevant result which is given “free exposure” on the search engine results page (SERP).  This is how you get free, qualified traffic without having to buy it on their respective paid advertising networks (e.g. Google AdWords, etc.).

Since Google, at the time of this post, has the largest percentage of search engine users then focus on what it takes to “play nice” by their terms so that you increase the odds of getting first-page exposure for a keyword phrase which:

  • has quantifiable monthly number of searches (i.e. “demand”)
  • has relatively low competition for the phrase, on a number of levels (i.e. “supply”)
  • is indicative of someone who is ready to engage with your business or the business you are promoting (e.g. “Emergency City Plumber” is a phrase indicating that people need plumbing help and are probably willing to pay to solve the problem quickly!)

In traditional business terms, think of such a keyword phrase as an “under-served market.”  There is demand, and the supply meeting that demand is low and probably under-delivering.  The art of “keyword research” and “keyword competition analysis” comes into play here; and whenever you pay for those services you should be able to gain insights into your market which you never knew previously.

Assuming that you have found several keyword phrases which meet those parameters, then you need to optimize the content you control for those phrases.  The “content you control” could be:

  • all of the pages on your website
  • your YouTube channel
  • your Facebook business page
  • a profile on a local forum on which you participate
  • your LinkedIn profile
  • “web 2.0” pages you create
  • online press releases
  • business directory listings (e.g. free listings or a Dallas-specific online business directory)
  • etc.

These properties can be optimized for local keyword phrases (e.g. “Emergency City Plumber”) or for national (non-geographic-specific) keyword phrases if you sell nationally (e.g. “online plumbing supplies”).  Now that the online web property content you control is optimized “on page”, the next step is to optimize the “off page” content.

In the ideal scenario, every business and prospective customer would link to your web properties – with the keyword phrases you desire in the text of the link – from all sorts of places online.  You would love to have the Chamber of Commerce link to your main website with the keyword phrase of your choice in the text.  Then you would love to have 2000 people on a popular local (or national) forum posting your link on that forum plus dozens of related ones.  Finally, you would love to have thousands of people share links to your YouTube videos from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and dozens of blogs.

If this were to happen then you, likely, would dominate the search engines for that keyword.  This is because you would have optimized content on the page to which thousands of people would be “endorsing” with their links to it.  Even better, instead of just “http://www. whatever…”, these people would be using your desired keywords in the actual text of the link (called “anchor text”).  This would be phenomenal!

Sadly, this isn’t going to happen for most businesses on either a local or national level.

This is the reason WHY you need back links.  Backlinking is a process of building links to your web content (the properties you control) which builds trust, authority, and relevance in the eyes of the search engine “robots” AS WELL AS the end user who may see the link.  The more “back links” which the search engines see pointing to your web properties, especially more than just the home page of your website, then the more “votes” you get.

But there is a catch.

It is not simply a matter of overall “votes”.  Like high school popularity, the algorithms also factor in the “quality” of those votes.  Like in high school, if you want to be deemed “popular” then it is better to get the “endorsement” of the 5 most popular kids than 50 endorsements from the lesser-popular kids.  What the search engines want to see, in addition to relevant content which is trustworthy, is:

  • Links to your web properties from a variety of types of content, not just social media
  • Links to your web properties from sources which the search engines ALREADY DEEM TRUSTWORTHY.  For example, a link from the Chamber of Commerce is good because the Chamber’s website (usually) is deemed a trustworthy site; and the search engines know that it is tough for someone to get a link on that site due to the need for human approval (endorsement) to put the link on the site
  • Content which has your link IN the main content, rather than just the sidebar or footer.  Even though sidebar & footer links are helpful, having a link in the main content is indicative of an outside side endorsing (voting for) you
  • Links from different I.P. addresses.  This reduces the likelihood that you set up a “link farm” to be self-serving.  It is deemed “untrustworthy” by the search engines when you have the majority of the links from one or two I.P. addresses… and they all point to a site on the same I.P. address!
  • A mixture of “do follow” and “no follow” tags
  • Links to promote your content on a staggered schedule.  This looks natural to the search engines, instead of 50 links appearing to your site every Monday morning!
  • Content, with your links in it, which appears to be shared freely by others because the content is good.  This is why “how to” and “tips” articles, videos, and podcasts get good rankings.  Free content that has your link in it, which is not riddled with “hard sell” messages (at least 90% good, useful content), and which gets passed around and posted on various blogs, social media pages, and forums is considered more “trustworthy and authoritative” then other types of content
  • Content, ideally, that is unique.  The search engines do what they can to reward the original creator of unique content, even if it later gets passed around
  • Content which has a mixture of straight URL’s ( and those with the keyword phrases as the text for the link.  Again, that is called “anchor text”
  • Coming in the second half of 2011, content which appears to be shared, re-tweeted, or otherwise passed around on social media sites.  The sharing component makes the content with your links embedded in it deemed more “trustworthy”

As an example, let’s say that you are a pizza shop in North Dallas.  You have enough time to set up your website once, make one small blog post a week, and offer daily specials on Facebook and Twitter.  You also have a few links from the organizations for which you pay each month/year, such as the chamber of commerce and some sort of Texas pizza association (assuming there is such a thing!).

How on earth would you get links to help you beat out the competition for terms like “North Dallas pizza” and “North Dallas pizza restaurant”?!?

Assuming that your website, Google Places/Maps, Facebook business page, and YouTube channel are optimized properly then you will need backlinks to promote these pages.  These would come from a variety of places on the internet to help you take good content in your head, factual information about your business (e.g. address, phone number, and website), and currently-produced photos and videos which can be re-packaged to give value to the end user who sees your information for the first time.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of places to put the following content somewhere online for your business, in this case the pizza restaurant:

  • Helpful information (e.g. learning the types of specialty pizzas)
  • Your current pizza coupons
  • Your business address and phone number on GPS, mobile, and 411 directories to help people find your restaurant
  • Photos from the restaurant’s most recent event
  • Videos derived from those photos
  • Reviews from happy customers to appear on your Google Places/Maps listing
  • Local business directories
  • Press releases

Virtually all of these third-party places online can contain a back link to a page your website.

Hopefully you can understand the value that a firm or service that offers intelligent backlinking for your business.  No matter whether you do it yourself or hire someone, be sure to develop links based on the factors I mentioned earlier.  Hopefully the links are made intelligently and any helpful content (e.g. tips and helpful videos) are quality enough to offer the viewers a reason to share the content.

Thank you for reading this far!  Good luck with your business and future links.