How Google Hotpot Can Boost Your Business

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December 8, 2010 – It didn’t make a big buzz when it rolled out in mid-November, but Google Hotpot could be a great boon to local businesses looking to boost their Internet presence.

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Just a city name pops up all sorts of new local venues to discover!

Just like all things Google, it works best when you allow cookies and are signed into the iGoogle personalized content. When I loaded it for the first time, it immediately found my saved location (home) and started showing me local businesses I’d been a customer of for years.

It wasn’t shocking that my local bar & grill popped up with a bunch of loyalists like me writing 5-star reviews for their amazing burgers and friendly staff. Nor was I surprised to see the poor reviews of the dry cleaners that folded about a month ago. There were plenty of places I hadn’t heard of before too that seemed to have a loyal following – things I must check out in the future.

So what does this mean to you as a local business owner? First of all, Google Hotpot works directly with Google Maps and Google Local, so if you’re already on those bandwagons you’re headed in the right direction. If you haven’t taken advantage of the free Google Local listings for your business, get to it!

Unless you already have a legion of loyal customers who are computer-savvy and eager to write their testimonials on review portals, you may need to do a bit of asking around to get your Google Hotpot simmering. Start by asking your frequent and loyal customers to give you a shout-out on your review page.

Businesses with mailing lists can take advantage of popping out a quick note to update customers that they’ve started a listing on Google Hotpot and they’d appreciate some friendly reviews. Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers can also lend you a boost when you post the link to your new profile.

Google Hotpot is all about discovery, and because it works on your mobile phone too (that is, when you have Google Maps installed), it allows customers doing a local search to instantly see if your business is worth visiting. Remember that customer reviews are gold when it comes to attracting new clients!

We’ll close out this blog with a note on upcoming content. Starting tomorrow to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas (workweek version) we’ll be recapping our favorite blogs of 2010. We’ll be revisiting the news stories that made the most impact in our world of SEO, content, and Internet marketing and update you on how some of these news bites have impacted our world of content marketing.

Stay tuned!

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