api

Google Maps SEO – Death of the KML boost

Over the past few years, I’ve made a little name for myself working with businesses on incorporating KML files with GEO sitemaps.  This practice is very beneficial for microsites wanting to incorporate multiple locations on a single google map for SEO or PPC campaigns.  I have previously blogged about this and provided step by step instructions on how to incorporate it.

Using Google’s proprietary KML format, developers were able to incorporate relevant data into listings including phone numbers, address, images, or anything else.

Google recently adjusted their policies to remove a lot of the boost associated with these practices.  It is still possible to incorporate certain data points, but the gains we’ve seen over the past few years using this secret are no longer possible.

Time to find a new way to include these details in landing pages.

 

Tutorial: How to easily create a Google Maps for SEO Part 2

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about when I was going to release part 2 of my Google Maps for SEO API tutorial.  Well, here it is!  and I have made it more simple than ever.  In this tutorial, I have included a simple KML file for your viewing to see how to set yours up.  I have also included the snippet needed in order to call the KML in the API on your website.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2">
  <Placemark>
    <name>Simple placemark</name>
    <description>Attached to the ground. Intelligently places itself
       at the height of the underlying terrain.</description>
    <Point>
      <coordinates>-122.0822035425683,37.42228990140251,0</coordinates>
    </Point>
  </Placemark>
</kml>

Now you can see how the KML file is suppose to look, you can add as many different locations as you want within the kml file.  just add an additional <placemark> and you’re good to go.  I recommend creating additional fields within the KML placemark including <address> <street><state><zip> etc. By doing this you will let google know more accurate information about what you’re trying to show on the map and will also increase SEO information and bait for the search engines.  If you know basic html, you can also add image or hyperlinks to the code. ( NOTE: in order to add this type of information or any other html markup, you must use CDATA in your XML KML.) The coordinates are great and required, but additional information is key to success for any SEO.  I have found great success doing this for a string of tire dealerships on the east coast.  I did not design the website, but i did implement the Google Maps SEO.

Example 2:

<Placemark>
<name>Edinburgh</name>
<description><![CDATA[
<div><a href="http://localtiredealers.net/kramer/locations-hours/edinburgh.html">
221 Carmichael Way <br> Chesapeake, VA 23322 </b>
</a> </div>
<div><img src="http://www.yourthinkbox.com/ifc/coupons/chesapeake.jpg" width="200px" border="0">
</a></div>]]></description>
<styleUrl>#C</styleUrl>
<Point><coordinates>-76.234312,36.65978,0</coordinates></Point>
</Placemark>

From there, You’ll use your typical map settings (refer to part 1 of my tutorial) and add the overlay of the KML file you created.

var gx = new GGeoXml(“http://www.website.kml”);

map.addOverlay(gx);

This javascript is very easy to use and can be implemented to almost any website.

check back soon because I will be posting a tutorial on how to easily place google maps into wordpress for SEO best practices.

Tutorial: How to easily create a Google Map for SEO Part 1

This is going to be Part 1 of a 2 Part tutorial.  In this tutorial, I will go over how to do an easy coordinate based Google Map.  In Part 2, I will create the same Map using the very friendly KML system.

There are already a ton of tutorials online on how to learn coding for creating Google Maps using the API.  I am a firm believer that once the wheel has been invented, there is no reason to reinvent it, just modify as you deem necessary.  This is going to be a short tutorial on how to create a multiple location Google Map with as little coding as necessary.  

If you want to learn more about the Google Maps API and learn, I recommend starting at the source: http://code.google.com/apis/maps/

Now that you’ve reviewed that and have a basic understanding of how everything works, I will show you how to create a great google map in a short time.

Step 1:

The first thing you need to do is get a unique map key directly from google here:

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/signup.html

This key is free, but if you plan on having more than 500,000 pageviews a day, Google needs to be notified to allow additional provisioning. 

Once you have the key, open up notepad and paste and save the key.  You will need this later. 

Congratulations, you have just completed the most difficult part for this example.

Step 2:

The second step in your Google Map creation is to convert all of your addresses to latitude and longitude coordinates.  Luckily for us, this wheel has already been perfected.  All you need to do is visit http://www.batchgeocode.com/lookup/

Now, put in your addresses one by one and copy the coordinates to a file. (obviously keep track of which coordinates are directed to each address)

Step 3:

The Third step is just as easy as the second.  This time you will go to http://mapmaker.donkeymagic.co.uk/

On this website, all you need to do is put in the coordinates for each location.  From there, give each marker a name, and add your additional content.  The amazing thing about the additional content is that you can include html tags including links.  

From there, all you need to do is click get javascript and paste this content into whatever website you need.  Obviously, there will be some modification of the code to make it fit your site.  

*This is where you will need to replace your Google Maps API key in the system with the key for your unique domain. 

Now, you have a great google map!  If you did everything correctly, you have all address information, phone numbers, and relevant content in one simple and concise tool that utilizes one of Google’s best products.  

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will respond and alter this tutorial to be as thorough as possible.

In Part 2, I will show you how to create a map utilizing SEO standards to boost you up the organic listings.

 

As with all online services, please review the individual websites terms & conditions and if you can, donate to these guys.  The put a lot of hard work into this system to allow us to create these maps with such easy.  Give them a little payback.

Google Maps API and SEO

In recent months, I have been working a lot with the Google Maps API.  I have been utilizing the API to optimize landing pages for “multiple location” websites.  In customizing these sites for the API, I have discovered that Google’s organic listings absolutely love when a website utilizes their Maps API.

In less than two weeks, I have seen my organic listings skyrocket up the pages with very little additional SEO practices in place.

Obviously Google loves relevant content, but as Google expands it’s capabilities and customization techniques, geotargeting has become much more relevant.  In this particular case, creating a website encoded with the Maps API for all locations has exponentially boosted optimization at a much quicker pace that normal.

In a nutshell, if you have a geo-specific website you are developing, I highly recommend implementing a geographic KML file and implementing it into your websites using the Maps API. 

KML is an extension of XML that pertains to geographic locations in Google Maps and Google Earth.  It’s a very thorough and organized markup language that is useful in presenting data to the search engines.

Example of KML code:

KML example for Google Maps API and SEO

KML example for Google Maps API and SEO

 Utilizing this particular KML file, I was able to geocode over 20 locations on one page in the API and include, address, phone number, location image, and a link to each individual page.  This created an insane amount of relavence and quality information for Google to boost this website up the organic listings.  

 

KML based Map for Google API including relevant information

KML based Map for Google API including relevant information

As you can see above.  There is a ton of relevant information included in a very small and precise space.  This information utilized by the API is a great way to gain instant optimization.

In the next couple days, i will create a step by step tutorial on how to fully integrate this technology into any website.