When some people see the Maps tab at Google.com they assume that it is just Google’s version of Mapquest or some other similar website. But nothing could be further than the truth. True, Google displays maps and driving directions but it also does so much more. Google Maps was previously called Google Local Search which more accurately describes Google Map functionality. Google Maps has a listing of every established business. Obviously it shows the location of the business on the map and offers driving directions. But it also offers tremendous promotional opportunities. Business owners can include both photos and videos in their map listing. Being able to include up to 10 photos and 5 videos makes the Google Map listing a bonanza for the business owner and provides rich information to potential customers. A picture can be extremely useful showing critical information to a potential customer. If somebody was looking for a daycare center think how valuable it would be to have pictures of the facility both inside and outside. This is almost better than a full page advertisement in the Yellow pages except the Google map listing is free. Compare that to a full page ad in other media. Google also offers a business owner an opportunity to post up to 5 videos. This is almost like getting a free TV commercial except that the information is directed at a potential customers who are already interested in the business owner’s product or services. With today’s inexpensive video equipment a business owner could shoot their own video of the business and post it to their Google Map listing via YouTube. With shrinking advertising budgets businesses should fully utilize this opportunity from Google. The only caveat is that for the business listing to be completely effective the business listing should be on the first page of Google search results. Fortunately it is rather easy to optimize Google Map listings.
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