Google Places : Google Local Business Center recently changed their name to Google Places. The change is supposed to align their portal for local businesses with the Place Pages they introduced in late 2009. Along with the name change came several additional features you should be aware of if youre marketing your local business online. Googles Place Pages are primarily for local businesses, but they alsoprovide useful information about cities, neighborhoods, points of interest, and mass transitstops. You can see a Place Page simply by going to Google Maps and entering in a searchterm. When the results come up, youll have several results with representative pins on the map.When you hover over a pin, a box will pop up and in that box is a More Info link. That link takesyou to the Place Page for that local business or location.So when you go to Google Places and fill out your information, it will automatically be listed hereon Google Maps and in Googles local search listings. So whichever platform your customeruses to find you, theyll be able to find you.Google provides a free listing for your business ornon-profit organization. The listing can include your address, phone number, hours ofoperations, and more. Plus, you can create coupons and display photos and videos, all for free.
Benefits of Google places:Google Places is Google‟s way of giving local business owners an upper hand. There are somany benefits to getting listed in Google Places that any localbusiness owner who‟s not takingadvantage of it is really leaving money on the table.Here are three of the main benefits of getting listed in Google Places.1. Surpass Other More Established Rankings : Search engines are otoriously difficult to rank for.If you wanted to get ranked for “Charlotte, NC Pizza” with a new website, it‟ll probably take youat least a year to get on the front page, let alone to the top of the page.However, with Google Places, you can quickly leap to the top of the listings even with a brandnew website.Your business will be displayed at the top of local searches for your business type. So ifsomeone in Charlotte types in “Charlotte, NC Pizza”, your pizzeria would display higher than allthe organic listings – even if they‟ve been there for years.2. Show Up On Google Maps And iPhone Searches : Let‟s say someone‟s on their iPhone andneeds to find a locksmith. They type in “Locksmith” in Google Maps and find the three nearestlocksmiths. If you have a locksmithing shop and you‟re in Google Places, your shop willshow up as a pin in their search. If they‟re nearby, they‟ll likely start walking to your shop.The same works on online Google Maps searches. The number of people using Google Mapsevery day is staggering – don‟t neglect this opportunity.
3. Free Photo Shoots : If you‟re running a business in a major city, Google Places may bewilling to come to your business to take some professional quality photos for free.Google accomplishes two things with this. First, they improve their listings. Havingphotos actually improves the quality of their search results.They also verify that you‟re a real business by physically setting foot in your establishment.They‟ll often do this anyway even if they‟re not taking photos, so they might as well takesome photos while they‟re there.These are just some of the benefits of being listed in Google Places. Google has taken thestance that local businesses should be given an edge when it comes to local searches.Naturally, if someone‟s looking for a local business in their search, they should find a localbusiness rather than a well-optimized website that‟s not a local business.Being on Google Places will help your rankings, will put you on the iPhone and Android screensand even has fringe benefits like free photo shoots. Getting into Google Places isn‟t hard ifyou‟re a real offline business. Why not get your business on Google Places today?I hope you‟ve found this information to be helpful and if so I‟d love to hear from you! Please letme know what is the one tip you received from this post that you think will help you in yourbusiness the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.If you have any additional questions about starting your business or need assistance withexpanding or marketing your business, please feel free leave me a comment or post it onmy Facebook Page and I‟ll try to assist you in any way I can!
How setup Google places :Google Places lets businesses take control of their listings on Google and tell their customerswhat they‟re all about.‘how to’ that will help you set up your business on Google Places:1.Create a Google Account : Sign up for a Google account if you don‟t have one already.2. Log in to Google Places :
Go to Google Places (ensure you are logged in to your Google Account)3. Add your Business :Click on „Add a Business„ or „Add another Business„ if you have already added a business toGoogle Places.Input your address, email and website information; then click „Next‟.4. Enter business details :You can select up to 5 business categories. It‟s important to think about how your customers willsearch for your type of business. Pick categories that are relevant to help improve your searchengine rankings.Enter your service area. You have two selections here: 1) You can input a geographical areaaround your business address (i.e. within 30 miles of the business address) or 2) You can inputcities, states/provinces or postal codes for the areas you serve.Input your hours of operation and any payment options you acceptNext, you can input up to 10 photographs - these can include any photographs that you thinkwill help sell your business. Keep in mind that Google has limitations on file sizes and fileformats.
You can also include video from Youtube. This is a phenomenal way to sell your business.Think about including overview of your business, customer testimonials, messages fromemployees or anything else that will help tell your story.As you fill in all of your information you‟ll see how your listing will look…5. Confirm your listing :Once you‟ve hit „Submit‟ you‟ll be asked to select a method to confirm your listing. BasicallyGoogle wants to ensure that the listing was created by someone authorized by your business.You can select phone, SMS text or snail mail. Google will then send you a 4 digit pin numberwhich you‟ll need to add to your listing in order for it to be published to Google. From experiencethe snail mail option is unreliable. I have selected this information twice (before phone & SMSwere available) and still have yet to receive a postcard with my pin number.