What is Google Places for Business and why it is crucial for every business owner to use it?
Google Places for Business is Google’s local listing results. It appears prominently in search page results (SERPs) when users are searching for local information. If you want to know more on SERPs check out this video. Here, users will find a small map showing the locations of businesses that were used by online users and were used by business owners when they registered for Google Places. Along with the address and the link to your website, other information such as opening hours and list of products can also be added. Google Places, which is absolutely for free, can help your local business tremendously in the sense that it can offer you with great online exposure. When you register for this Google service, as mentioned it is free, but Google will verify the information that you provide giving users a guarantee that all the information listed about your company is accurate. Through this much-need validation from Google, it gives your business and the website it relates to the authority you need to easily convince people to trust you.
Is registering with Google Places for Business worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Gold Coast SEO clients of Ignition Media have received better ranking for their website and of course, increased traffic after we helped them register their business to Google Places. As an expert, this is one thing that I highly recommend to every local business owner as it really works.
Google Places for Business: Getting Started
As I have stated, Google Places for Business is absolutely one local listing that you cannot afford to ignore. This is a great way to position your business as a leader in your niche in a particular location. Anybody who is looking to take advantage of the local community in terms of getting that much-needed attention should start with this free Google service.
Google, known for its effort in making certain processes hassle-free for users, make Google Places for Business registration process a piece of cake. In fact, you can have this done in less than 5 minutes. After getting verified, your business and website will be listed on the largest search engine on the Internet.
To get started, you need to have a Google Account. If you don’t have one yet, you can easily sign up. Once you have logged in to your account, enter the phone number of your business and set up your Google Places entry. Google will then require you to confirm your entry to ensure that all the information you provided are accurate and also to check if you are indeed the owner of the company. You can verify through phone or by post card. Confirmation from Google typically takes a couple of weeks. Once the information you have submitted has been validated, your Google Places for Business entry will be activated.
Getting the most out of Google Places
To get the best possible result, follow these fool-proof tips:
- More information, more attention. Take time to provide as much information as possible when signing up with Google Places for Business. Aside from your address and your phone number, you can enhance your listing by adding photos and videos. Based on personal experience, appealing entries that are both comprehensive and informative enjoy more clicks compared to those listings that contained very limited information. This also translates to better ratings from Google.
- Ensure that your business information is up-to-date. If you’ve changed your phone number or moved, make sure that you update your information with Google Places. You don’t want people posting comments that your information is out-dated and inaccurate. Also, ensure that you use the same information in other local listings to avoid confusing your target audience. Also, bear in mind that Google uses other listings like YellowPages.com.au when comparing contact details.
- Do not cheat your way to Google’s top ranking. Some people try to manipulate the system in their effort to ensure that their listing will be on top of search page results. For example, they try to use keywords and their location as the title rather than using their company name (example: Dry Cleaning Gold Coast). Keep in mind that that although this is a great idea, this is not permitted by Google and attempts to manipulate the system can result to penalties.
- Get as many reviews as possible. Giving your customers great experience in doing business with you will help you boost your Google rankings. How? Satisfied customers are typically more than happy to post great feedback across the Internet and these reviews are typically considered by Google for your overall ranking in Google’s search results. The more positive feedback you get from your previous customers, the more willing Google are to recommend you to online users. I suggest that you launch a campaign where you can encourage your customers to leave you feedback across the internet. You may do this by giving them thank you note giving them directions on how they can help you out.
The Many Benefits of Using Google Places for Business
Getting your business listed on Google Places is relatively easy yet it promises several great benefits. These include:
- Reach millions of users quickly and for free. Millions of people across the world use the Internet when they’re looking for a particular product or service. Listing your business on Google Places gives you a better chance of effectively reaching these people efficiently and for free. This exposure is typically all you need to get your business name out there and to get people to walk through your doorstep.
- Beat your competition. Getting better rankings on Google can be extremely difficult especially if the competition within your niche is very stiff. For example, if you’re trying to make in on the first page of SERPs for the search term “wedding planner Gold Coast” you may spend months or even years improving your website to receive better rankings. However, with Google Places, you can easily beat the competition even if your website is brand new. As long as your listing is optimised and as long as you have great feedback from your previous customers, you stand a better chance of getting your listing appear on top of your competitors’.
- Google Places for Business results show up on iPhone Searchers and Google Maps. Let’s say for example somebody is searching for a coffee shop. If they’re using Google Maps or their iPhone to search, they will find the list of the nearest coffee shop in the area and if your shop is nearby, these people may just walk in. As the number of people relying on Google Maps and iPhone searches continue to increase by the minute, this is one opportunity that you cannot afford to miss.
- Free advertising. Every business needs advertising and sometimes, this means spending a lot of money for the advertising exposure. But with Google Pages for Business, you can give your business the kind of exposure it needs without shelling out a single dime. With more and more people turning to the Internet when they’re looking for local businesses, Google Places is just what you need to increase foot traffic to your shop.
Optimising your Google Places for Business listing
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of optimising your listing in order for you to get optimum result. Here are some tips on how you can make that happen:
- Before you submit your listing, verify that all the information you’re about to submit is complete and accurate – I good tip, your contact details should mirror the way they are written on the Contact Us page of you website. Also, check if the location is entered correctly. If needed, drag the map marker so it points exactly on your business location.
- Improve search results by listing official business website on your local listings. This information is used by Google to improve your ranking on Google Places.
- Make your listing stand out by using high quality images and videos.
- Learn about how Google crawl and index your website by reading relevant resources. Signing up to Google Webmasters will also help with the indexing of you website.
- Read and abide by Google Places quality guidelines to avoid penalties.
- Chose specific, most appropriate category for your business so your target audience can easily locate it.
- Establish a strong presence on the Internet.
For more information, be sure to ready my previous post ‘How to Optimised Your Google Places Listing’.
Ignition Media for all your Google Places for Business and Google+ Needs
Ignition Media is committed to helping each client in getting as much exposure on the web as possible. We fully understand that this is the key to boost traffic to your website and to increase your number of customers. As Gold Coast SEO, we offer SEO packages which include the set up of Google Places and Google+ account to help you improve your web presence. With years of experience and with long list of satisfied customers, you can be assured that we can offer you nothing but great results! For obligation-free quotes and for all your enquiries please email me at [email protected] or call at call 07 5568 7515 today, let’s have a chat!