Become the centre of attention – Part one – Google and Google Maps

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Table of Contents

2008 has been a great year, despite the challenges that many of us have faced with the financial crisis and reduced consumer spending around the world. However, when times get tough, we innovate and improve. So for the start of 2009, I would like to have a look at what you can do yourself for free or with a minimal cost to help make sure potential customers are able to find your website easily.

There are a number of things you can do to make your website easier to find, and hundreds upon thousands of potential places people can potentially find your website from. Many of these sources can help get your website indexed more prominently in search engines like Google. None of these are guarantees, but in my experience, they help and over time provide a greater benefit than they might seem to initially. Most of these things are very simple and don’t take long to do at all, so they are worth taking a couple of minutes here and there to do.

Let Google Know You Exist

If your website is brand new, you want to let Google know about it. One of the first things you may want to do is to tell Google it exists by submitting directly to Google. If we’ve set up your website for you, you won’t need to worry about this. We do it for you! If your website has been around for a while and is already in the search results, you don’t need to worry about this either. If you aren’t sure if your website is in Google or not, just do a quick search at for your domain name. For example, I would search for to see if this website has been indexed by Google or not.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to have search engines find you, the best way is to get yourself linked to from other websites, such as directories or websites related to the same topic as yours. This is a much better method because if these other websites are indexed by numerous search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask and others, then as all of these search engines crawl the websites again, they will find your link and subsequently crawl your website too. This means you will get indexed by multiple search engines without having to actually submit your website to them. I’ll be going through this a little bit later on in more detail.

Register With Google Maps

One of the first things I always suggest is to submit your business to Google’s Local Business Centre if it’s not already there. You will need a Google Account, so you can either create one here or use one you might already have. Once you have an account, you can then enter your business details, such as the physical address, phone number and website address. Google will require verification and can either send out a letter with the verification code or SMS it to you if you entered a mobile phone number. Either way, once you have the verification code you need to go back the Local Business Centre and enter it.

Follow the prompts and you should soon be able to find your business in a search on Google Maps.

One benefit here is that if someone searches for “doctors in Murwillumbah” in Google Maps, it will show the locations and contact details of all the doctor’s practices registered with Google Maps in Murwillumbah, starting with the most relevant. However, the biggest benefit, especially in an area where there is low competition for keywords, such as the above combination, the regular search results in Google will also show a map of the 10 most relevant business locations and a link for more. So for local business, this becomes extremely beneficial as almost all searches looking for a service in an area will result in Google showing a map with the most relevant locations. This is worth doing even if you don’t have a website!

What’s Next?

Next time I’ll be looking at utilising the power of directories to help search engines index you, benefit your search result ranking and to provide alternative routes for people to find you.

I hope part one of our introduction to becoming the centre of attention has been useful to you, if you’ve enjoyed this article, keep an eye out for the next section.

Part 2, directories, is now available here.
Part 3, links, is now available here.

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