Maps Hero

A Fast Cash Foot-in-the-Door Strategy
to Win Local Business Ownersʼ Trust
And Grow Your Local Marketing Consulting Business
Google is the giant among the world’s search engines, accounting for more than
70% of all global search traffic.
A study conducted by Local Search Engine Optimization Mike Blumenthal found
that Google is the search engine most used by consumers searching online for local
businesses, accounting for more than 60% of consumer searches for local
And, as you can see from the illustrations on the next page, Google’s own research
shows that local business search results have a powerful influence on consumer
buying behavior, with 1 in 3 local business searches leading to a visit to a store.
The Maps Hero Opportunity
It’s clear from the statistics above that consumers are using Google every day to
find and do business with local businesses.
If a local business has not yet claimed and optimized their Google My Business
and Maps listing — or if they have an existing listing but the information there is
inaccurate — then they are in real trouble, whether they realize it or not.
This is where you can be their “local hero” — by educating local business
owners about the sales opportunities they are missing, and creating — or fixing
— their Google business listings to give them a competitive advantage in their
local marketplace.
In my personal experience, local business owners are happy to pay $200 – $500 for
this valuable service, because getting found on Google leads to more consumer
calls, more visits and more sales. And, mistakes in their Google listings can have
an immediate and dramatic impact on a business’ income if their customers can’t
find them fast online and end up going to competing businesses with more
prominently displayed and better optimized Google listings.
In this report, we are going to show you how to help your local business clients
“get on Google” while making some easy fast cash. Once you have demonstrated
your capabilities and won the business owner’s respect and trust by getting their
business set up on Google, you can offer even more recurring revenue services to
build your own business.
If you have ever searched online for a local business, you will recognize the
Google 7-pack local business listings (see Figure 1 below). As you can see, each
listing has a link to a Google+ page and the listing with the most 5-star reviews
stands out from the other listings:
Figure 1: Example of Google Local 7-Pack listings
To identify good prospects for this service, simply conduct a Google local search
yourself and look for listed businesses that have not claimed or optimized their
Google+ pages, as well as businesses that have few or no Google reviews.
Note how the 5-star
reviews stand out for
this company!
I’d estimate that 80% or more of local business owners have not claimed or
optimized their Google My Business pages and have no idea that they should do so
or how to do so.
Step 1: Claim and Verify The Client’s Google My Business Page
If the client does not already have a Google My Business Page set up, you need to
visit the link below and select the client’s business type. Then follow Google’s
instructions to set up the client’s Google My Business Page.
For local businesses, you should select either Storefront (if customers come to the
client’s place of business) or Service Area (if the client is a plumber, contractor or
other trade business that provide services at the customer’s home or business
Step 2: Optimize The Client’s Google Business Profile
The client’s Google My Business profile has two components: The Google+ page
(which is what most people will see) and the Google Maps Listing.
New Google business pages set up through the Google My Business platform are
automatically linked to their Google Maps listing. However, older G+ Pages or G+
Local Profiles may not be linked to their Google maps listing.
To see if the client’s Google Business Page & Map Listing are linked, login to the
Google My Business Dashboard, click on the page you want to manage, and click
on the Gear Icon at the top right side of the Google Business Page. (See Figure 2
A new page will open where you can customize the settings for the client’s Google
Business Page. (See Figure 3, below):
Figure 2
Figure 3
Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and look for the Profile section. If the
Google Maps listing is connected to the Google My Business page, you will see
the message, “This page is connected to Google Maps.” (See Figure 4, below.)
If the Google My Business page is not
connected to the Google Maps Listing, you
will need to go to Google Maps (https:// and type in the
business address in the search bar. The
business name should show up at the address
you have typed in. (See Figure 5, right.)
Figure 4
Figure 5
Click on the business name and then click on
the small gear icon in the lower right side of
the page to access the Google Maps link. A
new screen will pop up with the link to the
Google Maps listing. Copy that link and go
back to the Google+ page and paste the maps
listing into the space provided at the bottom of
the Google+ page edit screen.
(See Figure 6, right.)
Once the Google Map is linked to the Google Business Page you can start
optimizing the client’s map listing. Go to Google Map Maker (http:// and position the client’s map pin at their front door,
edit the map categories, edit the business NAP (Name, Address Phone) data, and
remove or edit inaccurate information. (Note: as of May 27, 2015, Google was
updating the Google Mapmaker tool and it has deactivated the mapmaker tool
while the updates are pending. Google says it will reactivate the mapmaker tool
after they have completed the updates.)
When you are satisfied with the accuracy and completeness of the Google Maps
listing, return to the Google+ listing. Make sure that the Google Map categories are
identical to the Google Business Profile categories, and be sure to populate the
“About” section of the Google Business page with keyword rich content about the
business’s products, services, and areas served.
Make sure the website URL is linked in the Google Business Page, and that the
business hours and other optional information is populated.
Google Maps Incubation Period
Google may impose a 2-month waiting period for new Google Business listings
before they begin to rank in the Google 7 Pack. If you have recently made
substantial edits or changes to the website, Google+ Page, or Map Listing, the
Figure 6
client’s Google My Business page may be stuck in the 2-month incubation period.
If you’ve followed the steps above, and you can’t get into the Map rankings, you
may be stuck in this incubation period, or you may be competing with other
businesses that are jockeying for position on the Google 7-Pack.
Step 3: Local Directory Listings
Google’s July 24, 2014 “Pigeon Update” (See
googles-pigeon-update-can-make-or-break-you/) placed increased importance on
local directory listings as a factor in local search results. The best place to begin the
local directory submissions process is with the top four “data aggregator”
companies (Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup and Neustar Localeze). These companies
disseminate business listing data to more than 300 other business directories all
around the web.
Because accurate local business directory listings are an essential component of all
Local SEO efforts, this task is another value-added service you can offer your local
business clients as an upsell to the Google My Business / Google Maps service.
Educate your clients about the value of expanding their total web presence by
having hundreds of citations and listings all pointing back to their website, and
charge them according to the added value this brings their business.
You can either create the listings for your client manually yourself, or use services
such asWhite Spark (, Moz Local (
learn/local/listings) or Yext ( to create the listings for your
clients on a whitelabel basis and sell the service to the clients at a profitable
Your job is to ensure that the client’s Business Name, Address, and Phone Number
(NAP) is consistently listed in every directory. The more Google sees the accurate
NAP information, the more credible you are as an established business in Google’s
Step 4: Update Google Business Page Content Regularly
Google has confirmed that the frequency, engagement, and quality of Google
Business Page posts is a ranking factor for Map Listings, and can help businesses
get in — and stay in — the 7-Pack.
This gives you an opportunity to sell your clients on yet another service: Content
creation and content management to improve their chances of getting into — and
staying in — the Google 7-Pack listings by regularly posting new content and
photos to the Google+ page. All content you create and post on Client websites,
Facebook business pages and other social media properties can and should be
shared on their Google My Business page as well.
Case Example
The new owner of a local Paint The Own Pottery shop needed help fixing her
Google My Business Listing. When she bought the shop, she did not realize the
importance of an accurate Google My Business listing for her shop. Only after she
bought the shop did she realize that she did not have the login details she needed to
edit and manage the shop’s Google My Business page.
The shop’s original Google My Business page (also known as a Google+ page or
Google Business Listing page) had been set up by the previous owner’s webmaster.
The new owner made numerous attempts to contact the original webmaster to
obtain the login information she needed to assume ownership of her shop’s Google
Business Page, but the webmaster never replied to any of her emails. That’s when
she called me for help.
The Magic Phone Number:
How to Get a Google Rep on the Phone to Help You
Since we were not able to get login access to the client’s Google Business Page to
update it properly, the only way to gain access to her page was to contact Google
directly. Google’s standard procedure is to send your message to the Google
Business Page’s existing owner/manager and ask them to cooperate with you. But
this can take weeks! What you really want is to be able to get a Google rep on the
phone with you for immediate resolution of the problem. This is where you get to
shine as the Google Maps hero for your clients!
Google doesn’t make it easy to find their direct support phone number.
I tried calling the Google Support Phone number listed in search results, but after
going through their voice mail instructions to connect with a Google My Business
support agent, my call kept getting disconnected.
Finally, after much searching, I stumbled across the magic link that I am sharing
with you now that you can use to get a Google support agent to call you
immediately and assist with fixing incorrect Google Business Listings. Click the
link below to access a Google Support Rep on the phone:
When you click the link above, you will be taken to a new screen that looks like
the page you see below. Fill in the required fields to proceed to the next step.
On the next page, you will be asked to provide the name, email address and a call
back number. Once you complete this information and submit the page, you will
receive a call from Google almost immediately at the phone number you provided.
(See illustration below.)
Once we got the Google support agent on the phone, they were very helpful in
assisting us with assuming ownership of the client’s Google My Business page. To
verify that the new business owner was legitimate, Google placed a call to the
business phone number and provided a PIN number which had to be entered into
the Google Business Page before the page could be edited and updated.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to speak with your client in advance and arrange to have
your client available to pick up the phone at the business’ official listed phone
number before getting the Google rep on the phone, as they will be calling the
business owner to verify their business information. You don’t want to waste
your time and the Google rep’s time by having them place a call to the business
owner, only to discover that they are not available to speak with the Google rep
when they place that call.
Once this task was completed, I was able to login on the owner’s behalf and update
the Google page with the business’ current information, including an updated
website link, business description, current hours of operation, a new cover image
and photos of the business.
The updated Google Business Page quickly rose to the top of search results for the
phrase “Paint The Own Pottery Fairfax VA.” This is a benefit to the business
because it makes it easier for local customers to find her shop online and click to
call for directions or additional information right from their mobile phones.
Google’s algorithm (the rules and guidelines that determine which business listings they display
at any given time to any given individual) may have changed since this document was published.
While the steps outlined below were working for us at the time we published this document,
Google may have changed its procedures since then.
If the client is in a business niche and location where the associated Google 7-Pack (or 3-Pack) is
already filled with competing companies that have claimed and optimized their Google business
profiles, it will require more effort on your part and the client’s part to displace those existing
companies in the 7-pack or 3-pack results — especially if the listed companies have plenty of 5-
star reviews on Google and other online review sites. There is no guarantee that you will be able
to displace those companies in the 7-pack or 3-pack search results.
Nevertheless, if you follow the steps outlined below, you will have created an important online
asset for the client’s business — the essential foundation they need to get found on Google and
listed in the Google 7-Pack and Google maps.
Copyright 2015 – All rights reserved.
Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing,
Jack Hopman,
You may not copy, sell or distribute this document
without advance written permission from the author.


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