May 9, 2011

Cayman SEO: Google, Bing and Facebook Maps

We just moved offices to Regency Court on West Bay Road and of course the first thing that you have to do when you move offices is ensure that all Google,  Bing and Facebook Maps are updated.   I realized somewhere in the process that not alot of people update their Google, Bing and Facebook Maps so I decided to blog about how to ensure your business address is on all maps.

How to Insert your business on Google Maps
  1. Go to http://maps.google.com/
  2. Sign In or Sign up for Google
  3. On the search field type "Cayman Islands" 
  4. Move/drag the Map with your mouse or mouse pad until you get to the correct location of your office
  5. Click on "edit" which is located on the top right part of the map
  6. These editing tools will appear on the top of the map, click on "Add" and a field will appear asking if what type of location you are adding, choose your type of business and then red (red-ish) push-pin looking button will appear. Drag and drop that to your location.
  7. A module with fields will appear on the left, complete the fields and click 'save' 
  8. Wait for a few minutes or hours for an editor to approve your listing. 
Screen Shot of Google's Map Approval, which took approximately 2 hours to approve

Some notes to remember:

  • Google is very intuitive, if you dont understand something, there is usually a question mark icon near most fields and if you click it, it tells you what that field is requiring
  • It is better to place markers on the Satellite Map vs just the Map because you can be accurate of where the business is actually located
  • You can approve map listings created by others by clicking on "community edits" 

How to Insert your business on Bing Maps*
  1. Go to http://www.bing.com/maps/
  2. Sign In or Sign Up for Bing.  (Note: You can sign in using your Facebook Account. But when I tried to do it using Safari on Mac, my browser crashed.  But when it opened again, I was logged on using my FB account.)
  3. Search for Cayman Islands
  4. Move/drag the map with your mouse or mouse pad until you get to the correct location of your office 
  5. At the bottom left corner you will see an icon with a star, click on it.  A pop up screen will appear. 
  6. Notice the blue-ish pin at the bottom of the pop up screen.  Click on it and then click on the location on the map where you want to place it.  A another pop up screen will appear and this time, it has open fields for you to write on.  Complete the field with information and click on save. 
Some obvious differences between Google and Bing Maps: 
  1. Google's Maps are over populated while Bings are not, also I personally think whoever made Bing's Map is a librarian because of the over categorizing of businesses - you can see the businesses by click on categories on the left while Google's Map has ALL business visible by default. 
  2. Bing's graphic user interface (GUI) is alot more nicer than Google's but Googles is more intuitive. I could be biased here because I am more familiar with Google but I will venture as far as to say, 'I told you so'
  3. If you are looking for "an action" in Google (ie. editing tools), chances are that it is located on the opposite side or almost to the opposite side of the screen on Bing. Also notice the subtle changes in color as both maps try not to copy each other.  
How to insert your business on Facebook Maps
  1. First create a business page, you can find that information here http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
  2. Ensure that you are inserting the correct address in the fields provided
  3. On the map area, drag and drop the pointer to your location
  4. Complete the entire Information fields and hit save
  5. Your address should be highlighted in a blue link and when you click on it, it goes to a Bing Map. Not really helpful as Bing maps are not enabled for the Cayman Islands yet BUT it is a locator for Facebook places so its still important to be on there.
It is unfortunate the the Cayman Islands is not yet listed in Google Places but atleast we have Google Maps.  You will also notice alot of tourists have put in information about places they like on island.  

Why is it important for you to use Bing Maps?  For the simple reason that Facebook uses it for Facebook Places.  As a business owner, you should be visible on all maps because all of them have their own distinct advantage.

Why is it important to be on Facebook Maps - because it what Facebook Places uses and whenever anyone has their facebook places enabled, their friends can see where they are and that would count as a "vote" for your business.

*The Bing Map submission has still not been approved and there are no business located in the Cayman Islands.  Just street names and places.  I've done further research and apparently Bing is only for US business so you might want to not waste your time on this right away but it would be good to be on there when and if they enable the Bing Maps to work for us in the Cayman Islands.   

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