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Google's Gone Paper
Last month I received a card in the mail that was better than any piece of mail I've received in the past month. A letter from Google! (I think I'm gonna frame it)
In this letter Larry Page , Sergey Brin and Michaela Prescott informed me that we're a favorite place on Google. I'm like cool! But, what the heck did I do? I had gone into my maps page and filled out everything I could after setting in one of Brian Pasch's Webinar's, and that was almost 2 years ago. In the letter I recieved Google gave me a “Door Sticker” that has a new style bar code. Why does Google want me to put this on my door? I DON'T KNOW, BUT I'M DOING IT!
I called a Facebook friend John Bowman who uses the bar code as profile pic. He gave this research from Google:
According to Google, What's that bar code?
This unique bar code on the lower right of the sticker (known as a QR code) lets customers - and potential customers - instantly learn more about a business, by visiting a mobile version of the business' Place Page on any supported phone. Here's more on how it works and what you can do with it:
Make sure your phone can scan a QR code with its camera, either with an application that you download or via software that's already installed on your phone. To find out what application to use for your phone, we recommend doing a Google search for the model of your phone along with "QR reader".
When you see a QR code, use your phone's application to scan it. If you're scanning a QR code on one of the window decals that we've sent to thousands of U.S. businesses, you'll quickly be taken to that business' mobile Place Page on Google, where you can:
Read reviews to see what other users think about the business
Find a coupon that the business has posted to their Place Page
Star the business to remember to check it out later, or to remember to visit again
Leave a review right after you leave the business. What's a better time to write what you think, than when you've just visited?
Google is also developing picture search. Snap a picture on your smart phone, send to Google and it will result in a SERP (search engine results page). I recently watched Inside The Mind of Google on CNBC for a rare look at the world's most powerful technology company and its crown jewel, the Google Internet Search Engine. You can watch it on Hulu just Click Here. Google has rolled back the picture search product launch, but its coming soon to a smart phone near you. If they are sending mail to support the QR code for smart-phones, you had better have your Google Assets tweaked, peaked and sleek!
How should you get started? Here's some great info from one of Brian Pasch's informational sites.
Google Maps is one of the building blocks for an online marketing presence. Google Maps is free and every business owner should make sure that their brand is registered on Google Maps.
Have you checked your Google Maps listing?
Google Maps is often displayed when a consumer types in a town name or state name with a search phrase. This means that Google Maps is a great place to attract new customers who may not be familiar with the local shops and businesses.
Creating a Google Maps Listing
To register your business on Google Maps, we recommend the following steps:
1. Create a Google account. It's free and simple.
2. Login to your Google account.
3. Search your business name in Google Maps.
4. If your business is listed, "claim the business" listing that is shown on the map.
Once the listing is part of your account, update all information that is requested on the listing and submit the changes.
This may require you to validate your changes via a phone call or via postal mail. Choose the best option that fits your needs. If you have an automated voice mail attendant on your business line, the phone verification will not work.
If you choose a postcard, wait 7-10 business days to get your card. Once you have your card you can log back into your Google account and input the PIN number shown on the postcard. This will activate your Google Maps listing.
5. If your business is not listed, add your business listing. Enter all the information requested and then verify your listing via phone or postal mail.
Google Maps Advice
1. Make sure you enter a valid phone number since the phone number is what consumers will see on the maps listing. Do not use a salesman's cell phone number or any phone number that will not be handled consistently.
2. Make sure you verify your listing. If the postcard does not arrive, request another postcard and make sure you inform the mail room NOT to throw out 3x5 postcards from Google.
3. A proper Google Maps listing can be leveraged in your Google Adwords campaign so make sure it is active.
4. According to some SEO experts, Google Maps can be a leading source for traffic to your website.
If you think your behind on GPOM (Google Page One Management) this is the first place to start. Why? Our customers are no longer using a phone book or reading a map. They are typing words into the little white box of the “Digital God” Google. So we need to play the “Google Match Game”.
We need Digital Assets that align with the words consumers are putting into the Google Box. Now I know most of us know this but, my question is this, what Digital Foot print have you left this week? There are more FREE assets on-line than there are vendors providing assets! I think we need a strategy for both. Vendors helping us obtain our wants and business goals with some old fashioned elbow grease on our part.
So, whats your strategy?
On February 11th – 13th, finishing right before NADA there will be a hands on, how to do it yourself, workshop/ bootcamp. This training is like no other I have ever seen offered and in one sentence this is how I would sum up the bootcamp:
This is how to leave a digital foot print, now go do it!