Leveraging Custom Maps For Your Website And Marketing

What you likely see above this text is an example of a custom Google My Maps, using the embed code to add a visual graphic to this blog post.  Your website can have the same thing appear, and also use it for marketing purposes, so long as you know what to do with these links and embed codes.

How Does A Custom Maps Help Make My Phone Ring?

Great question!

There are several ways in which a custom My Maps can function to help make your phone ring.  Here are just a few of the thoughts:

  • Search engines –>  If created properly, and permitted to be shared publicly, such a Map can blend/aggregate/consolidate all of your main properties into one Google property.  You can add a link to your website, include your YouTube videos, boost your social media properties, add links to your review sites (e.g. Yelp), and much more.  By consolidating all of these on a Google-owned property (e.g. My Maps) you can pass more authority onto those other web properties you control; and this can raise each property in the search rankings assuming that you have optimized everything properly.
    • Note:  be sure to add nearby authoritative landmarks or other relevant helpful content to your Maps for “co-citation” purposes as well as simply making the Map more useful (value added) to anyone who actually sees it!
  • Social media –> By creating a helpful Map, you now have a new link (URL), much like a new blog post or YouTube video has a new URL when you publish the content.  You now can share this on your social media properties if you believe that the Map would add some sort of value to your followers.  The more that they share or comment on (e.g. “like”, retweet, bookmark, “stumble”) your Map then you should see more benefit coming to your web properties since your Map has proven to be helpful or valuable to some of your audience members.
  • Email –>  If appropriate, add the link to the Map in your e-mail signature file or any e-mail newsletter you send out regularly.
  • Embedding on your website –>  you can embed the Map on a current or new page on your website if you believe it to be helpful to your website visitors.
  • Pay Per Click –>  advanced strategy here, but it could be beneficial to reduce pay per click (PPC) costs as you would be sending the traffic to a Google-owned property; but you must be artful here.  Contact us for ideas on this. Otherwise, embed the Map in a current/new page (post) on your website and send the PPC traffic to that page.

 

Again, these are just some of the ideas you can do with Maps.  Think of the Maps functionality like a playlist for music, except that you can make multiple Maps depending on your intended audience’s needs/wants.  You then can optimize each Map to boost your respective web properties if appropriate.

 

That’s Great, But Can You Give Me Some Examples Of How This Could Work In The Real World?

Another great question!

Here are just some of the examples of what various businesses can do with customized Maps that are optimized properly and have the appropriate web properties included:

  • A guy in Dallas who buys distressed properties for cash can make a customized Map of homes he has in inventory to sell, lease, or assign the contract to a cash buyer/investor of bulk properties.   He then can e-mail this Map and/or embed it on his website.  As properties become available he can add new ones and remove ones that he has sold, but the link to his Map never changes.
  • A company selling torque and friction hinges internationally can make a Map of its headquarters plus the office addresses of its major clients around the world.  Instead of just posting a client list and testimonials, this can give prospective customers a visual representation of how far around the world that the company ships its products.
  • An accountant trying to expand into nearby cities can add the addresses of its presence in the nearby towns such as corporate clients (if appropriate and permitted), where he has spoken to audiences in the past, events he will attending in those towns, etc.  This custom Map then can be embedded on a specific page dedicated to the town where he wants to gain more exposure.
  • A startup roofing company, trying to compete in a high-competition area like Dallas Fort Worth, can use the city centers in a custom Map showing prospective customers where the roofer has done jobs previously.  Also, if permitted, the roofing company can make a custom Map of its commercial roofing customers — that way people can drive by and see the quality of the roof before using the roofer.
  • One of the new online college for-profit companies with a few campus locations in Texas can get more online college students nationally by posting any of the following in a customized Map – and then sending the link to the Map to prospective students who inquire about specific degree programs:
    • links to the campus locations
    • links to office addresses of where recent alumni are now working
    • states where students have graduated for that specific degree program
  • An event concessions company which wants to earn new clients in DFW can use a custom Map in order “pin” on the Map various stadiums, convention centers, arenas and other public event venues where it has successfully handled food and beer concessions.

 

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can do with customized Maps.  You also can add a keyword within the iFrame code in order to boost your search rankings whenever the Map gets embedded on your website or 3rd party web property.  There is so much which can be done to improve search rankings, increase conversion rate, improve “social proof” or simply make things easier for your current customers/clients.

Contact us if you have any questions or thoughts on how to improve this new strategy.

Leveraging YouTube Playlists To Benefit Your Website

In recent weeks, the internet marketing/SEO world has started to emphasize the use of YouTube playlists more and more.  Much like you can take all forms of various songs and pieces of music and customize your own playlists, YouTube gives you the right to make your own playlists and share them publicly on your YouTube channel.

So how does this help your website and, ultimately, generate additional new business for you above and beyond traditional SEO efforts?  Great question!

There are several benefits to doing this IF you have intelligent balancing between optimizing your YouTube videos and giving the playlist viewer (including the search engines as a “viewer”) some form of legitimate “value”.  The value can be relevance, education, entertainment or a combination of all 3.  There are several benefits to be gained once you have that balance including:

  • Your specific videos have increased odds of ranking in the search engines (and within YouTube) for the specific phrases you want plus related ones (called “LSI”)
  • The same could apply to the playlist if optimized properly
  • The playlists pass along a quality, dofollow link to your website from a site Google obviously trusts (i.e. YouTube… since it owns YouTube!); and this could translate to increased search engine authority
  • Your website could get direct traffic from the playlist and/or the specific videos if you have properly-formatted links which can be clicked to your desired landing pages
  • If your specific videos don’t get shared then perhaps the playlist might be shared since it could be adding more “value” than individual videos alone
  • Several other benefits, including getting “social proof” by including a very helpful (authoritative) video to confirm your other videos inside the playlist.  This can help influence a viewer to take direct action or at least share your playlist with others

Here are some examples of using playlists from DFW businesses and others across the country:

  •  Curtis is an attorney in Dallas who focuses on nursing home abuse cases and related situations.  His YouTube playlist is embedded on each county-specific and city-specific page he has created in order to help convert first-time visitors to call him.  Here is his playlist, which is a four-part video series of him answering questions related to the difficult topic of nursing home abuse:

 

  • Larry is an optometrist in Lakewood.  He created a playlist of high-authority videos on the various brands of designer eyeglasses and eyeglass frames he carries at his location.  The thing is…. none of the videos in this playlist (as of this posting) feature any of his practice’s videos!  All of the videos are from the official YouTube channels of the actual brands or high-quality media featuring those brands. He was able to optimize the playlist for a Dallas keyword, and that playlist has a quality link to his website plus his office’s phone number.

 

What If You Don’t Have A Playlist?

No problem!  They are easy and free to create.

Let’s go through an example of what some businesses should do with their YouTube videos and channels:

  • Tony runs two concrete businesses in DFW.  One is for regular and decorative concrete work, and the other is for concrete saw cutting and gravel/sand delivery.  Regarding the first one, he has several videos.  If he wants to make playlists then he can break them down into each main keyword that he wants, and then he can optimize each one for his desired Dallas Fort Worth communities.  For example, in order to boost his decorative concrete side of the business he could:
    • Add a link to his website and include his phone number in the playlist settings
    • Also in the playlist settings he could add the specific services (and any related phrases) plus list each DFW town in which he wants to gain more exposure through YouTube and possibly Google
    • Add all of his videos which are relevant to the desired keyword
    • In order to be more than just “self serving”, he also can add videos from non-competing YouTube channel owners such as local media mentioning the decorative concrete trends in North Texas, videos from any sort of national decorative concrete trade/industry association, etc.
    • Once he saves the playlist he gets a new, unique URL (link).  He then can build backlinks to that URL, include it in his e-mail signature file, share the playlist URL on his social media, and he even can buy low-cost (geo-targeted) traffic to the playlist
    • He can pay to have the playlist embedded or shared on 3rd party web properties for SEO and direct traffic purposes
    • Of course, he can embed the playlist on relevant pages on his website as well.  This should help with conversion rates (phone calls or e-mails) as well as keeping visitors on his site longer; and the latter helps to reduce “bounce rate” which, in turn, can help with his organic SEO rankings
  • Dr. Khayal could do the same thing with his chiropractic technology videos, except he also can send these to his prospective patients who may not necessarily understand all of the machines at his chiropractic office.  After they come in for an initial consultation, the playlist could be sent to them to give reassurance about their odds being good of reducing pain.  Some of these prospective patients even may help him further by sharing the playlist with their friends & family members
  • Even an attorney outside of the area could benefit from this as well.  For example, Heather could compile her separate YouTube videos along with relevant videos from the State bar or even other attorneys in order to give credence to her legal approach.  She then could share the optimized playlist (with her website and phone number) through her Google Plus page.  This way a Google-owned property (Google Plus) is promoting another Google-owned property (YouTube playlist) which has authoritative information and can boost the value in the search engines of both properties.   Think of this co-sharing as an “upward spiral” or the opposite of a “downward spiral”.
  • Jim runs a retailing business for high-end audio engineering equipment used in sound studios and advanced media production facilities.  He already has playlists (here) but he can improve them by:
    • adding his phone number
    • adding his website
    • adding more of his videos blended with authoritative videos from the actual manufacturers’ YouTube channels
    • share the playlists
    • embed the playlists on 3rd party blogs and social properties that he doesn’t control
    • build quality links to the newly optimized playlists

Here is one of his playlists for a specific brand:

What Else Can Be Done For No Cost?

Additionally, you can do the following no-cost actions:

  • optimize each video’s title, description, tags and advanced settings for the videos you control
  • include tags from popular videos and/or competitors in order to increase the odds of appearing as related videos next to their videos on YouTube
  • include a link and phone number on each video you control
  • leave positive comments on authoritative videos AND channels within YouTube — done to build authority back to your channel
  • optimize your channel’s About page (up to the character limits permitted)
  • include all of the best links possible to your website and other social media and favorable review URL’s
  • verify your YouTube channel
  • build subscribers to your channel
  • get favorable likes (thumbs up), comments and video responses on your channel
  • send out occasional messages on your channel page as updates (much like a blog or social media account)
  • get your friends and customers to watch your videos and playlists to organically grow the view counts
  • a few more techniques — contact us for more ideas

 

Again, will all of this guarantee that you get more business?  No.  Doing all of this, however, increases the chances of your gaining new business because your competition likely isn’t doing even half of the items listed on this page.  This doesn’t even include leveraging other outlets for your YouTube videos or playlists like:

  • including them, when permitted, in online press releases
  • paying to have your playlist shared through local outreach distribution centers such as chamber of commerce weekly/monthly e-mail newsletters
  • blending your playlists and specific YouTube videos inside customized Google My Maps (yet another Google-owned property which you can manipulate)
  • adding geo-tagged thumbnail images if you want to attract business from specific towns
  • modifying the video transcripts
  • adding annotations to other videos (or your playlists) plus external links
  • buying traffic from within YouTube to your playlist, such as paying to be on the same page as your competitors’ videos
  • much more

 

As you can tell, there is a ton that can be done with YouTube videos and playlists.  Hopefully you find this short discussion beneficial.  Be sure to contact us if you have any questions.