Archive for the ‘Local Business Center’ Category

Google Places Policy Of Allowed Terms

October 27, 2010

After several years of uneven and inconsistent communications from the Google Local Business Center now Google Places – I finally got clarification to the Places dashboard message – “this listing does not comply with our policy of allowed terms.”

Google Places Policy of Allowed Terms

Google Places Policy of Allowed Terms

Although I had suspected for some time using the terms Google Adwords Qualified Individual and Google Adwords Professional in my business listing description field might have been problematic, Google never pointed me or anyone else for that matter to a list of terms they automatically reject.

Yet in today’s message Google revealed at least one word they don’t approve of in Google Places listings…

The word?

Google.

I have removed Google from my business description and resubmitted my listing.

It now appears my listing has been automatically approved after resubmitting.

However, the “Your Business Info” section of my Google Places listing still shows my listing is only 90% complete.

Google Places: Your Business Info

Google Places: Your Business Info

I guess my Google Places listing will always be a work in progress.

Google Local Business Center Survey

November 4, 2009

Google is surveying its Local Business Center audience for feedback to help improve its local business listings product.

Today while logging into my Google Local Business Center account, I noticed this message:

“Tell us what you think! Take our 5 minute survey and help improve Local Business Center.”

I took Google up on their offer and quickly completed the following four page survey.

Google Local Business Center Feedback I

Google Local Business Center Feedback I

The first page of the Google Local Business Center survey asks –

1. Overall, how satisfied are you with Google Local Business Center?

2. How likely is it that you would recommend Google Local Business Center to a friend or colleague?

The survey then asks users to indicate their satisfaction with Google Local Business Center in the following dimensions: Ease of Use, Visual Appeal, Technical Reliability, Features and Capabilities, Trustworthiness, Privacy and Security and the Listing verification process.

Next, Local Business Center users are asked “Which aspects of your Google Local Business Center listing are most important to you” followed by a drop down answer box for answering the question –  “when did you first visit the Local Business Center?”

Which of the following answers are most important to you as a business listing manager?

People finding directions to my business
People clicking through to my website
People writing ratings & reviews
People contacting (calling or emailing) my business
People viewing the details of my listing (hours, pictures, descriptions, ratings & reviews)
Getting analytics & reporting on how my listing is performing

Google Local Business Center Feedback Satisfaction II

Google Local Business Center Feedback Satisfaction II

The second page of the survey asks the following four multiple choice questions pertaining to listing management:

When did you first use Google Local Business Center?
How did you verify your business listing in Google Local Business Center?
How long has it been since you last visited Google Local Business Center?
Which best describes your role or roles regarding the business or businesses you have listed on Google Local Business Center?

Google Local Business Center Feedback Process III

Google Local Business Center Feedback Process III

The third page asks the following three questions:

Which best describes the business(es) you are listing on Google Local Business Center?

What is the preferred way for your customers to contact the business you own or manage?
(If you have an appointment-based business, how do you prefer customers reach you to schedule an appointment?)

What are other ways you promote the business you own or manage (online & offline)?

While the forth and final question on the third page of the survey asks users to indicate which of the following ten (mostly Google) products they use:

Google AdWords
Google Analytics
Google AdSense
Google Coupons inside Local Business Listing
Google Checkout
Search engine optimization service (a company that improves your website ranking on search engines like Google.com)
Google webmaster tools
Yahoo! Local listing
MS Live search maps
Other online advertising (Yahoo Ads, Microsoft adCenter, etc.)

Google Local Business Survey IV

Google Local Business Survey IV

The final page of Google’s Local Business survey incorporates the users answers from the previous pages and then asks for further clarification while also asking the Local Business Center user to provide additional comments about the LBC product if they choose to do so.

Please describe any problems or difficulties you have experienced with Google Local Business center today. (optional)

What if anything do you find frustrating or unappealing about Google Local Business Center?(optional)

What do you like best about Google Local Business Center? (optional)

Local Business Center Survey V

Local Business Center Survey V

Uncharacteristically, the final page of the survey asked whether or not I would be willing to be contacted again with more research questions about the Google Local Business Center.

Google Local Business Center Survey VI

Google Local Business Center Survey VI

I checked affirmative and then provided my email address.

It will be interesting to see what – if anything – transpires from the data Google gathers from their Local Business Center Audience survey.

If you haven’t received a survey in your LBC, feel free to answer any of the above questions in the comments section of this post.

Newspaper Enters Local Business Center Market

August 16, 2009

Today I saw an ad in my local newspaper for a new product they have launched called the Business Resource Center.

Business Resource Center

Business Resource Center

The new service appears similar to Google’s Local Business Center and looks like it provides all of the same features found in the Local Business Center.

The Business Resource Center touts the benefits of having a small business found under local searches and states:

Anything that you’d traditionally look for in the print yellow pages has become a “local search” on the Internet. For these queries, 75 percent of the top 100 keywords are non-branded, indicating that a majority of consumers have not decided on a specific brick and mortar store to do business with.

Local Search Business

Local Search Business

The site claims  “to stay on top of the internet so you don’t have to” and plans to provide the latest in local search, social networking, search engine marketing and social media optimization to its advertisers.

Local Business Resource Center

Local Business Resource Center

The newspaper’s local business resource center will provide advertisers with statistics like Google’s Local Business Center has begun providing in the US.

Local Business Resource Center Statistics

Local Business Resource Center Statistics

Like Google, the paper’s local Business Resource Center also lets advertisers “create and manage coupons and special offers to drive traffic and build customer loyalty”.

Local Business Center Coupons

Local Business Center Coupons

Similar to other directory and listing services, the newspaper’s business resource center alerts advertisers immediately when individuals rate or review their services, and allows them to reply directly to concerns or praise, giving businesses the ability to create stronger relationships with their customers.

Local Business Center Communications

Local Business Center Communications

The Beta version of their User Interface is clean and user friendly.

The site offers what appears to be primarily display advertising under keyword or category searches and claims to provide the largest local search audience reach.

Overall the newspaper’s launch of a Local Business Center is quite an accomplishment for any newspaper in this day and age.

Google Local Business Center Dashboard Live

June 3, 2009

The Google Lat Long Blog has announced their roll out of the Local Business Center dashboard containing local listing and search data.

Initial data available in the Local Business Center:

Impressions: The number of times the business listing appeared as a result on a Google.com search or Google Maps search in a given period.

Actions: The number of times people interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times they clicked through to the business’ website or requested driving directions to the business.

Top search queries: Which queries led customers to the business listing; for example, are they finding the listing for a cafe by searching for “tea” or “coffee”?

Zip codes where driving directions come from: Which zip codes customers are coming from when they request directions to your location.

Indeed, when I logged into my Google Local Business Center account I found a scaled down Google Analytics type Dashboard waiting for me.

Google Local Business Center

Google Local Business Center

The top field on the Dashboard shows how many times users saw my particular business listing, how many clicks were for more information from Google Maps, how many clicks were for driving directions and how many clicks were delivered to my website.

The middle field on the Dashboard provide a top search queries bar graph.

Top Local Business Center Search Queries

Top Local Business Center Search Queries

The last field shows where driving directions came from.

Where Driving Directions Came From

Where Driving Directions Came From

The right rail shows all of the data I have provided to the Google Local Business Center and includes a link for editing my data.

Your Local Business Center Listing

Your Local Business Center Listing

Providing search data to businesses listed in the Google Local Business Center gives business owners yet another level of insight into how their business are performing online.

Google Maps Local Business Center YouTube Tutorial

February 15, 2009

The Google Earth and Maps team has posted a video tutorial on YouTube for business owners looking to verify or append their business listing data in Google Maps.

From the Google Lat Long Blog:

Local Business Center allows business owners to edit the content of their existing listing, or to add a brand new listing to Google’s local database.  By ensuring that basic information is up-to-date and providing additional details, like photos, hours, and coupons, business owners can stand out on the map to attract more customers.

Update your Google Maps listing in Google’s Local Business Center.

Google Local Business Center

Google Local Business Center