Customize Your Google Maps List of Areas Served

Earlier today, I saw the news that Google was allowing home-based businesses to upload their profile to the Google Local Business Center. Here’s a Search Engine Land article written by Matt McGee:

Maps Finally Welcome To Home-Based and Service-Based Businesses.

Initially, I didn’t like this idea. There’s already too much Mapspam and figured this would open it up further. Yuck.

Because of the new mapping opportunities whether home-based or physical business locations, my mind changed to the better and would like to use an example.

In a few weeks, a bathroom and tile company are coming over to replace bathroom tile and resurface the tub. They happen to be from Pine City which is a good hour drive just to get to the northern Minneapolis suburbs. Google does have a Place Page for them and they’re definitely not right down the street.

If you go to the Google Local Business Center and you’re in Pine City you might just choose that city.

List of Areas Served

List of Areas Served

A map will show up like this.

Pine City Area

Pine City Area

Turns out most of their clients are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. It makes sense for the user that they would enter multiple cities.

Expanded List of Areas Served

Expanded List of Areas Served

Here is what an expanded list of areas could look like.

Extended Map

Expanded Map

Hopefully this lets people who view their Google Place page visually understand that they do business in the metropolitan area.

I decided to update Localmn. Most clients I receive are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. But since the domain is Localmn.com, that alone made sense to include the whole state. So, I reluctantly did that quick.

Minnesota

Minnesota

The new map goes into Wisconsin a bit, and that’s fine.

New Minnesota Map

New Minnesota Map

Do I ever take clients from out of state? Occasionally, but I try not to advertise that. There are over 200,000 businesses in Minnesota. I’m not greedy.

I suppose this business is home-based as well which can’t hurt Google’s decision to include home-based businesses.

What does worry me a bit is you know there are people who are going to try to manipulate this. That makes things look fugly. Somewhere, someone has already listed every single state for the “areas served”. I know this is the Interwebz and we can take clients almost anywhere, but just don’t do that. That’s not what Google Maps is for.

Overall, I’m really liking this. Having a xyz mile radius map for areas served is nice in itself. But by customizing it, this can be a great user-friendly and visual tool.

Quick note: Per the Search Engine Land post linked above, Matt found a couple bugs in this. Hopefully they are very minor.

Bookmark on Google :: post to facebook

Advertisements

4 Responses to Customize Your Google Maps List of Areas Served

  1. Aaron Weiche says:

    Good post and nice base explanation/outline. I agree this is a great feature, as long as it’s not abused. Which it will be.

    Hopefully G can find a way to limit that abuse and turn this into a win-win.

    I do wonder though, when they still have MUCH to work out with their base local/map offering and the quality of 7 pack results, why are they rushing to expand it?

  2. Paul Jahn says:

    Thanks Aaron, and I also hope that Google can limit potential abuse and turn it to a win-win.

    This is only my admittedly sarcastic speculation and I’m willing to be wrong… Maybe this will help reduce those who think that driving to a UPS store address to pick up flowers or find a plumber is a good thing. 🙂

  3. Good article! Here is another take on this new feature: http://ezlocal.com/blog/post/google-maps-areas-served.aspx

    This is really a savior for service business that cover a larger. The question I have is what type of ranking can a business get that turns on the 500 mile radius.

  4. Paul Jahn says:

    @Tim, I’m not sure how local rankings will work in the whole 500 mile radius and admittedly am not worried.

    In the post I mentioned my clients are usually in the Mpls/St Paul area. From a referral it looks like I’ll be doing consulting w/ a service company based out of Charlotte, NC.

    The company’s main focus is for both of the Carolinas. I can map out both North and South Carolina for the “list of areas served”. It should be great for users who find the listing. How many people find it is anyone’s guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: