Creative Small Business Marketing, Episode 1

Filed in Local Search, Small Biz Marketing by Matt McGee on February 16, 2009 11 Comments

Do you have a “Lawn Map” to show?

I love this:

lawn-map1

This is a Showcase Lawn Map on the web site of WiseGrass, a small lawncare service provider in central Pennsylvania. It’s an embedded Google Map with user-created content for each of the showcase lawns. Here’s a list of reasons why this is great:

1. Real-life portfolio – potential customers can see this company’s work for themselves, with no need to call and ask for references/referrals

2. Real testimonials = trust – testimonials in any form often include a shadow of doubt. You wonder, Are these real people saying this? Several of the lawns listed on this map have the customer’s name, email address, and/or phone number. That adds to the overall trust.

3. It’s a form of local SEO – user-created content in Google Maps can show up in searches on Google Maps. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. And even if it doesn’t show up on its own, Google provides a fairly visible “See user-created content” in the Google Maps search results, which might bring some more eyeballs to your user-created maps.

So, if you’re a service provider — lawn care business or something else — do you have a map like this you can create in Google Maps and show on your web site?

(found via GrokDotCom)

Comments (11)

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Creating Google Maps on your Site | expertSEM | February 16, 2009
  2. Do you have a “Lawn Map” to show? | Web Strategy Workshop | February 23, 2009
  1. Cathy says:

    Matt -

    It’s certainly a clever approach, yet I would be a bit queasy about basically handing competitors the complete contact information for customers who purchase ongoing services.

    In the flower business, it certainly makes sense to show one-time events (weddings & parties by location). :)

    As always, thanks for the really useful tips.

    Cathy

  2. Miriam says:

    What creativity! That’s pretty neat, Matt. Cathy’s point is a good one, but it’s still a really neat use of the application.

    Miriam

  3. MikeTek says:

    This is a great way to use Google Maps for this kind of local service. Awesome example.

  4. Paul says:

    Cathy, you are right. Queasy is the word. Giving up control of my customer is a currency I’m willing to spend. The list is hand picked and not nearly everyone in our customer base is on the list. Our bet is that few competitors will follow this lead, since it is so gutsy.

    Every few months I followup with showcase lawns Owners and ask them about requests to them. Turns out the extra attention to these handpicked customers is greatly appreciated. They are more loyal then ever! Queasiness evaporates.

  5. MikeTek says:

    @Paul I think the tendency to horde your customer list and stuff it in a safe is an instinct we do well to overcome. You wouldn’t want to feature all of your clients this way – just the happy ones.

    The clients who are going to leave are going to do so without your help. The best way to protect your client base is to keep serving them well.

    Sounds like you’re already taking this approach. Kudos.

  6. Stevie Black says:

    I love this idea – and not just for those clients who have customers who can give “drive-by approval” like home improvement customers and such. I can see this be very helpful for wedding photographers who cover a lot of area as a way to visually reinforce the territory they cover.

    Great hook.

    SB

  7. Joe says:

    Very interesting. Always looking for new ways to get the word out. Thanks for the great article.

  8. CLC says:

    This is a neat approach. The fact that it shows location specific makes it great.

  9. Awesome tip Matt,

    I have a lawn care company that is really expanding and I my website needs to have ,y showcase yards on it like you said. I think I need to upgrade my site a bit as well.

    Thanks again,

    John

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