Feeding ground for Google’s focus on small business products
Avenue to Google’s evolving mobile platform</li></li></ul><li>Set-up Basics<br /><ul><li>Crete a separate Google/Gmail account for your business. Don’t piggy back your personal account.
Don’t duplicate a listing if your business already has a Google Places profile. Go through the process to claim your business.
Know your business’s keywords before you crank out a profile (check out webdevils.biz if this is Greek to you). </li></li></ul><li>Profile Basics<br /><ul><li>Use the 200-character business description as a home for your keywords and a succinct statement about your business. Stress location verbiage.
The first image you upload will default to your profile pic. It’s hip to be square!
Default to Google’s suggestions when choosing your business category.
Complete the Google Places profile setup in as much detail as possible. Include relevant pictures, videos (up to five) and meaningful information in the additional details fields.</li></li></ul><li>Profile Enhancements<br /><ul><li>Updates - A status update for your page! Up to 160 characters, live for 30 days. Update monthly.
Offers – Virtual couponing service. Copy becomes part of your page and is accessible via mobile, too.</li></li></ul><li>Fly the Stars – Get Reviews!<br />74% of consumers are influenced by the opinions of others as they make purchasing decisions.<br />Consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than descriptions from manufacturers.<br />
How to Get Reviews<br />Requesting a recommendation on your invoice is OK, but requests made in person are more likely to be acted upon. <br />When making a recommendation request, be sure to suggest a specific site or network. <br />Show your appreciation.<br />Keep it real. You will inevitably begin receiving solicitations from services offering to ghostwrite positive reviews for cash. Avoid these like the plague! <br />
Citation Feeds<br />Google mines parallel platforms for content and reviews to populate Goggle Places profiles<br />Citations are a permanent part of your profile. Own your adjacent profiles, don’t let them own you.<br />Be sure your business listing in replicated on Yelp, Bing Business Portal, and Yahoo Local Listing. Also list on Yellowpages.com, Citysearch, Insider Pages and Super Pages.<br />Check Whitespark search to ID the best local citation feeds for your business. Great list here, too.<br />
Google Boost<br />New advertising platform for small businesses. Combines very basic Google AdWords functions with ads within Google Maps<br />Prominent Blue Pin effect<br />Basic analytics, flexible budgeting<br />Worth investigating for your consumer business<br />
Fog the Mirror!<br />Keep an eye on your listing and those of your key competitors.<br />Be on the lookout for new services and discontinued programs. Don’t be afraid to experiment.<br />Use good ‘ol boy analytics - ask your customers “How did you find me?”<br />Get serious about mobile search!<br />