Google Maps and Geo Targeting Your Websites
Google Maps is the #1 organic advertising tool for most car dealers but how Google Maps actually works is a mystery to many of us in the SEO community. For example, one New Jersey car dealer’s Google Maps listing is displayed over 17,000 a month.
What has been a challenge for many car dealers is determining why certain car dealer listings show in Google Maps when consumers do a county or statewide search. I have tested hundreds of scenarios where a Google Local Business listing is correct but it does not show for searches that you would expect it to appear.
With GPS enabled mobile phones and geo targeted search marketing applications like FourSquare.com on the rise, I started to look into how websites are geo-targeted. It started with a conversation with Alex Snyder at Checkered Flag because all his dealer websites are a sub-domain off of www.checkeredflag.com and not on a standalone domain name. What that means is that Checkered Flag Toyota is located at http://toyota.checkeredflag.com and not on www.checkeredflagtoyota.com.
In the case of all the Checkered Flag store websites, they are hosted off a primary domain and Google Maps was not behaving properly for some of the store listings. As Alex and I discussed this matter, Alex took it on his own initiative to see how other franchise chains handled mapping multiple stores off a central website.