Not too long ago, I was standing at The Arch on Broad Street and needed to get to SPIA (School of Public and International Affairs) in Candler Hall.
So, like anyone would do these days, I pulled out my iPhone and went to Google Maps to search for “spia at uga”.
It came right up in Google Maps so I proceed to hit “directions” and “Walk” option.
Everything was going great as I made my way across the UGA Campus, until the Google Maps lady said those infamous words, “you have arrived.”
The only problem was, I was standing on the southwest corner of Herty Field.
Not knowing exactly which building was Candler Hall, I was at this point completely confused.
The reality was, Candler Hall could’ve been any of the 5 large buildings that were surrounding me.
Long story short, I finally figured out where Candler Hall was and successfully arrived at SPIA.
Getting SPIA and Candler Hall “On The Map!”
One of the things we do is help businesses optimize their locations in Google Maps.
Since Google Maps just took me to a corner of Herty Field when I actually wanted to go to SPIA, I figured this same problem is probably experienced by thousands of students, faculty, and visiting guests each year.
So we went to work and proceeded to get Candler Hall official verified in Google Maps.
The process was simple to execute, but required a bit of interaction and cooperation with the amazing staff at SPIA.
First, in order for a location to be verified in Google Maps, you have to officially request verification.
Which means the location address needs to be confirmed by someone at that location, and then a Google postcard is requested.
Once the Google postcard arrives, there’s a 5 or 6 digit code that needs to be entered into the location’s Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Finally, once the GMB listing is verified, you can proceed to update the listing the most “up to date” information about the location.
Today, when someone searches in Google or Google Maps for things like “spia”, “uga spia”, or “candler hall” (or any combination therein), they are now given a clean path with accurate, step by step directions right to the front door!
You can see the growth in search volume that’s occurring over time as a result of the accuracy, and increasing use, of this updated and verified location in Google Maps.
Search volume in Google Maps over time:
The orange part of the graph (which is somewhat hard to see) is the total number of views in Google search (not Google Maps).
This means, since the orange data is the smallest / thinnest part, that very few people ever use Google search (i.e. the Google search app) to look for Candler Hall or SPIA.
However, the red part of the graph (which is the majority) is the search views coming from the Google Maps app.
As you can see, the overwhelming majority of people are simply pulling up the Google Maps app and searching for Candler Hall and SPIA straight from their phone.
Another interesting data set to look at is where the volume of searches are coming from geographically in and around Athens.
As you can see, the majority of the searches for “SPIA” and “Candler Hall” are coming from the east and southeast regions directly around downtown Athens, and even extending out into the southeast section of Athens Clarke County and Oconee County.
Search volume by geographic location:
Finally, with a verified location in Google Maps, not only is it easier and more convenient for students, faculty, and visitors to find their way to SPIA and Candler Hall, but the growth in search volume has also been increasing over time.
You can see see the keyword phrases and search productivity that’s happening across the many different keyword phrases that are being used to find SPIA and Candler Hall.
Some of the short, one or two word phrases may be getting typed into the Google Maps app.
However, some of the longer form sentences are more than likely being “spoken” into the app using voice search.
We can see this data via a snapshot of the keyword phrases that have been driving the most traffic to SPIA and Candler Hall via search over the last 3 months.
Keyword phrases in Google search
So the next time you are visiting UGA, or if you need to quickly find your way to Candler Hall and SPIA, now you know you can simply pull out your phone and use your favorite map app to find your way there.
The easiest thing to do would be to go to the Google Maps app and search one of the keyword phrases you see listed above.
Then using the “get directions” tool, you should be taken directly to the front door at Candler Hall.
I hope this was helpful!
CEO & Founder