Thursday, April 23, 2015

Let's Put South Florida on the Map!

Three years ago, Google and their Google My Business team started an initiative to get small businesses across the country added onto Google maps - and the program has taken off. In March of 2015, a new initiative was launched that would finally allow Badged Google Partners to aid in the process.

Just yesterday, Google My Business’ “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” team held a webinar to call upon Badged Google Partners in the United States to join efforts in getting every local business listed online.

Webinar demonstrator Whitney explained that, “97% of consumers search the web to find local goods and services, and 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information nearby; like: store address, business hours, product availability, and directions. But then, only 37% of businesses have actually claimed a local business listing on a search engine, so that’s a lot of communication that is not happening because those businesses are not making sure that information is up-to-date and accurate when all of those consumers are searching for them online.”

The idea behind “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” is to be able to reach local businesses who currently lack an online presence and need assistance getting listed on Google My Business. In some cases, businesses may not be aware just how dire an online presence may be; nor are they aware of its benefits.  By getting your local business listed online, you are getting your community on the map and giving your community the opportunity to thrive and generate more revenue. The online presence of local businesses can help generate up to $300,000 a year in economic growth for small communities, and up to $7 million for larger communities.  In short – if you are a local business and you are not listed online, on Google My Business, you could hold a small part in harming the growth of your community.

As put by Whitney, “it definitely does take a village, and we want to make sure that every community is able to take advantage of these opportunities by helping their local businesses get on the map and have up-to-date information so that local consumers can find them and support them.”

38% of consumers are more likely to visit a business that they can find online and on Google Maps.
29% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from a company who has an online presence.

- Businesses with a complete listing online are 2x more likely to be considered reputable.



Only for BADGED GOOGLE U.S. Partners who have $10,000 worth of Adwords spend within a 90 day period.

Steps to Registering:

1. Complete your partner profile online via the website, connect MCC and Adwords
2. Go through a Best Practices check by Google
3. One individual (that is Adwords certified) needs to be connected to the account – done through

HUB : to find your city

“Show Support” page
Where regular residents can go to show support for local businesses -
If they find a business that is not on the map, they can share the step-by-step instructions with the business in order to help them get listed on Google My Business

“Business” page
Most businesses do not know exactly how they stand on the map, or how to add their business and edit their listing. The business page allows a business to be searched and will let them know their status and give them advice on how they can make their local presence / map listing stronger.
The most common scenario is that the business is not verified on the map, so it shows up as “Your business info is incomplete”.

“Partner” page
Only badged partners for now, since this is the first time agencies are being offered a part in the initiative.
You can see a list of badged partners in your area and you can apply to be a partner as well.


Once you sign up and get approved, you will receive a kit of things to help local businesses.

- Promotional materials - Promote and host workshops, email template, pamphlets, signage, etc.
- Presentation materials – get businesses in the door and host workshops on why it is important to get   listed on Google My Business
- Help from Google – Google support team for questions, aid in partnership opportunities

Promotional materials will say the city name that you registered for, if you register for multiple cities you will receive a generic “Let’s put our cities on the map” material kit.

3 formats of workshops:

Pre-recorded workshops if you do not wish to speak, or want them to supplement a meeting you are   already having
- Live, virtual workshops monthly – stream them to businesses
- Materials if you want to present yourself

***Perhaps the ultimate benefit to joining the initiative - access to expedited business verification – on-spot verification form – given once approved

Get new clients in the door, through helping them and opening them up to new opportunities.

As another Google Webinar host Gabe explains, the initiative is a “great fit for Badged Agencies”.

“The most success was with those who collaborated with non-agency “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” partners. A few examples of these types of organizations are: small business development centers, Chambers of Commerce, your mayors and city economic development offices, and mainstream associations. These collaborations work because these types of organizations work with many businesses that really don’t have digital savvy, and you have the knowledge base and skill to help them out. So once they take that first step to getting online, they will eventually need help growing online and that’s where you can take the next step with them.”

*largest success with agencies partnering with Chambers of Commerce businesses

4-step Roadmap to success with the program:

1. Sign up at
2. See who the other partners in your community are
3. If you know of potential partners within your community, encourage them to join the program – it’s free – an easy sell
4. Collaborate with them to host workshops, the program will make it easy and provide you with everything

Important Q&As from the Google Webinar

*If you run across companies that say they have already been contacted from Google – if the email address is not from they are not from Google.
*If a town is not showing up, eventually they will be. Register and add multiple cities so that you can still get started.
*It IS different than getting listed on maps through a Google+ page. Google My Business is free and takes roughly 10 minutes for local businesses to get set-up and verified.
*Franchisees with multiple locations across the country – once you are a partner in this program you can contact a specialist to make sure all locations are verified correctly.
*Fix location pin markers once logged in, under “location marker incorrect”
*For service providers who are not located in their service area: hide the home address and set a service area. Check the “I serve customers at their location” – pop up with radius, etc. Service area rather than storefront.

Badged Google Partners, local businesses, and community leaders - let’s work together to build a stronger community – let’s join the over 30,000 cities in this program - let’s put South Florida on the map!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Five Underestimated Strategies That Will Help You Rule Local

1. Social Activity - Even if you don’t get much engagement from your audience, be active on your social media sites. Share useful and up-to-date information OFTEN. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a ton of likes or retweets. Your commitment to your social page is counting for something. Trust us.

2. Be Trendy and Be Unique- Along with great written content, include creative features such as authentic videos and blog posts. Don’t pretend to be local; actually be local. Get involved in your community and share what you are doing on your site. Make it a company goal to become newsworthy for participating in your community and being different from competitors.

3. Expand Your Recognition- Don’t just strive to get local recognition, do your best to get regionally and nationally recognized. Acquire those mentions by going after publications that distribute across the country and/or region.

4. Get Your Owner/ Founder Involved in the Conversation- Connect with your audience on a more personal level by including reviews, stories, social mentions and experiences of the person or people that started your company. Consumers want to see the faces behind the company’s name and feel an association to the brand. Include pictures of owners and employees on your site.

5. Be Authentic- Create a Web site that exudes genuineness and effort.  Consumers like sites that are professionally designed, simplified, and include a sense of community, photos of clients, and ties to history and family.

If your company needs more direction when it comes to Local Search Engine Marketing, Tandem can always help!