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(Expert Feature) Three Ways Google Places Helps Your Business With Local Search

Google Places is an excellent opportunity for business owners to market their business at no cost on Google, and get good results. Many business owners neglect to set this free tool up, and they’re leaving opportunities on the table.

What Google Places Is And Why You Should Use It

Google has so many free tools to help business owners market themselves.

One of the underutilized systems is called Google Places.

 

Go to Google right now, and type in “electricians” (without the quotes) and click “Google Search”.

Google will bring up some ads along the top and right, and then it will show you a listing of seven electricians with a map and “thumbtacks” lettered A through G.

These are examples of free listings that can get your business listed ahead of all the other search results.

When you do a search like “electricians” or “windshield repair san francisco“,
Google is going to provide you with up to seven listings from Google Places.

 

Have you claimed or created your listing yet?

Go to www.google.com/local/add and search your business phone number.

If there’s a listing, you need to claim it before someone (even a competitor!)  takes control of your listing.

Edit the listing and make it as complete as you possibly can.
Make sure you upload your logo file as the first image, so your logo shows up next to your listing.
Then fill in the other nine images with other photos that are related to your business.

Create five short (30 seconds long) videos and link them to your listing too.
The videos can be customer testimonials, a message from the CEO or even a tour of your office.

Just create whatever you want to showcase something about your business.

 

There are three very good reasons that all businesses need to do this:

First, it’s a free listing that will get your business listed ahead of all the search engine results.

This means that your business can get listed at the top of Google for no cost.

This can be free business opportunities for you, and missed opportunities if you don’t have a listing.

 

Second, it gives your customers the opportunity a place to rate you with stars.

Online reviews help your customers understand how other customers have felt about their interactions with you.

Some businesses are afraid of negative reviews. But if your business has no reviews, a negative review will stick out like a big fat sore thumb. Having lots of positive reviews will dilute any negative review so that people will discount any negatives that you might get.

 

Finally, projections are that in another couple years, mobile devices will overtake laptops and desktops as common computer platforms.

99% of all searches go through Google on smart phones.

If your business doesn’t have a Google Places listing, you will not show up on these mobile devices.

Your mobile listing will even have a handy button for people to call you directly when they search for your business.

The best part? This is all free, and an absolute must for any business owner that wants to be found on Google and smart phones.

 

Image is screen capture from Google Places website

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About Thomas Petty (46 Articles)
Thomas Petty teaches beginning and advanced digital marketing workshops to business owners who want to get found online. He is a popular blogger and speaker and has regular SEO training classes and updates at his company, the Bay Area Search Engine Academy. He holds a monthly series of free SEO and digital marketing webinars that are open to those who want to learn some online marketing techniques that they can implement right away.

2 Comments on (Expert Feature) Three Ways Google Places Helps Your Business With Local Search

  1. Tom, I heartily agree that all local businesses must get on to Google + Local. To that end I’ve noticed that my former Google Places page seems to have merged with my Google + presence. Have you noticed that? I don’t mind it since my Google + presence is better looking than my old Places page, but it does make me think I need to post regularly on my Google + page.

    I would also add that the next step for the business owner who follows your advice here would be wise to claim their Yelp page and fill that out.

  2. Hi Michael, You’re absolutely correct. Google has merged the Places page with G+ if you have a G+ account. It’s important to set up your business presence though, no matter which one you use.

    You’re also correct that businesses should claim ALL their business listings and take control of them. That includes Yelp, Bing, Merchant Circle, Best of the Web, HotFrog, YP.com, etc. A great free tool to use is http://www.getlisted.org. They’ll search all the systems and help you set up and/or claim your business listings.

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