Today we're revisiting and updating our very first Gold Nugget published back on July 26, 2010.
Google Places drives foot traffic right to your door, but you have to set it up in order for it to work. We covered a full 90 minute session on setting up Google Places in our August 2010 Live 2 event (DVD is available on our website).
Today we're going to expand on some of the features of Google Maps and how it can tie together nicely with Google Places.
The maps service ( http://maps.google.com ) has a lot of features. We deal mostly with the Google Places aspect, but there's also a way to view user uploaded photographs for map, videos of the area, location/tour maps created by users and a whole lot more.
We want to call your attention to the uploaded photo feature. This is provided by Google's Panoramio.com website. Turn this feature on by selecting the Photos option from the [More...] button located directly on the top right of the map.
These photos were geo-targeted by the people who uploaded them. In most rural areas of the country you will find photos of parks, waterfalls, sunsets and points of interest. But in urban centers many people have uploaded photos of storefronts. Here's an example: http://bit.ly/9dtGjc
Since the photos are geo-targeted, they are absorbed into Google Places Pages. Of course, you have the ability to upload your own photos if you set up your Places account, but it you haven't, well then, this is a great option for you.
TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
1. Download the Panoramio App to your phone; it's available for all smart phones
2. Create an account through the phone app
3. Allow geo-targeting in the Panoramio App, if it asks permission
4. Snap photos of the outside of your store
5. Upload them with the name of your store in the title, "Jewelry Store at Shopping Plaza" or "Jewelry Store on Main Street"
6. You're done
The photos will eventually be absorbed into Google Maps, and if the geo-targeting and photo title work correctly, the images will show up on your Google Places page.
The other benefit here is what we sometimes refer to as a sneak attack strategy. People who browse photos are not necessarily looking for retail stores. Retail storefront photos will stand out as something different among all the other landscaping and architecture photos. The sneak attack is the branding you are building.