Home > Internet Marketing - SEO > Building a Geositemap and KML file.

Building a Geositemap and KML file.

A geositemap can help Google geo-locate your business. This can be great if your customers are using mobile devices to try and find you. It can also help your local rankings on the search engine results page.

KML files can be used to help Google find your business and combine your Google Places results with your Organic search listing, often giving you a boost on the SERP. This can be especially useful if you are a brick and mortar business, targeting mainly people from the surrounding area. There has been some confusion around how these KML files should be generated and used, for that reason I have written step by step instructions for you all below.

Firstly, copy the below information and paste it into notepad.

<Document>
<name>Put Company Name here</name>
<atom:author>
<atom:name> </atom:name>
</atom:author>
<atom:link href=”http:www.yourwebsiteaddressgoeshere.com/” />
<Placemark>
<name>Company name, and address</name>    <— You want the address to show exactly how it shows in your google places account
<description>
<![CDATA[
<address>
<a href=” http:www.yourwebsiteaddressgoeshere.com/” >Business Name</a><br />
Address:company name and  business Address goes here<br />
Phone: Enter phone number as it’s shown on your Places page
</address>
<p>A short description of your company, you can use your meta description, but it may be a good idea to write something unique.</p>
]]>
</description>
<Point>
<coordinates>See below for coordinate information(long, lat)</coordinates>
</Point>
</Placemark>
</Document>
</kml>

Ok, so hopefully you have copied the above information into notepad, what you want to do now is go back and fill in the name and address information, but don’t fill in the coordinates yet as this were most people are having a problem. What you want to do is get the exact co-ordinates for your business, there is an easy way to do this using Google maps – here’s how.

Google Maps


Google Maps get Coordinates
Ok, so now you have your coordinates and you have tested them by sticking them into the Google maps search bar, it is now time to insert them into your KML file. But wait! There is a twist. If you enter them as is, you will find that Google will probably think that your business is based in the middle of the ocean when you load the KML file into Google Mymaps or Google Earth! Now you don’t want you customers to get their feet wet, as that could be very bad for business. What you must now do is flip the coordinates around. So, in my example, 55.863368,-4.254971, now becomes -4.254971, 55.863368. For some reason, and I have no idea why, it is a standard for KML files to be measured in longitude, latitude instead of latitude, longitude .

After you put in all information, make sure it is correct, and save it as location.kml.
This all may seem like a long drawn out process, but once you get the hang of it, it can be great for your online marketing campaign and actually help you rank higher in the SERP, esepcially once your organic and places listings merge.

The next step is to now generate a Geo-Sitemap to tell Google were to find your KML file, this bit is really easy, especially because all you have to do is copy and paste it to a notepad file and add in your web address.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?><urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9&#8243;
<url>
<loc>http//:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com/location.kml</loc>
<geo:geo>
<geo:format>kml</geo:format>
</geo:geo>
</url>
</urlset>

Save the file as geo-sitemap.xml. Now upload the geo-sitemap.xml and the location.kml file to your server. You now have two options to get both files picked up by Google, the first is to have a back-link that points to the geo-sitemap file, but the best way is add it as a sitemap on Google webmaster tools. Before you upload the file I recommend testing it using either, Google earth or MyMaps using Google maps.

Gordon Campbell

Online Marketing Executive

http://www.360innovate.co.uk

Any questions, you can find me on twitter.

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