Is your business on Google Places (maps)?
Google Places (aka Maps) is a FREE advertising opportunity your business should be making use of, especially if you are looking for local geographic business.
Google has been putting more focus into local searches, giving local businesses more exposure. This is mostly being seen with the addition to Places in the general search results.
For example when searching for “Bars” after the PPC ads and the top organic results, the Places listings come up next taking a huge portion of 1st page of results. Featuring listings from local bars including their Place and pin on the map.
In short: Claiming your Google Places Page and following the steps below will tremendously enhance the visibility of your business to local customers.
How to claim your Google Places listing
First of all you need a Google Mail Account (or gmail.com). If you don’t have one you can sign up quickly here: – mail.google.com/mail/signup
Once you are signed into your Google Mail account click this link: http://www.google.com/local/add/ you will then be asked for your business phone number.
This identifies if there is already a listing for your company, Google sometimes will create a business page automatically via info from your website and/or other local business directories, like Yellow Pages.
If there is no listing with that phone number, it will take you to a page to begin adding your business info. If there is a business associated with that number, just click the edit button next to (what should be) your business.
Thoroughly go through and make sure your business information is accurate. Title, address, phone number, etc.
- Add a business description
- Add your websites URL if applicable
- Add your businesses categories (Making sure at least one is a Google suggested category)
- Add photos and videos
- Add hours
- Add payment methods
- Add additional details
- Add offers
Once you have completed these steps hit “submit.”
You will then need to verify your account, Google will send you a postcard (the only available verification method now available.) with a PIN number within 2-3 weeks. You will need to enter this PIN into your listing panel.
Once you have completed the confirmation process you should see your new and improved Google Places Listing live within 48 hours and ranking in search results after Google indexes your listing in a couple days to a couple weeks.
Google Places Reviews
You should then request that your clients or customers place a review on your places page, this adds credibility to your listing, when you have 5 or more your will get 5 stars by your listing, making your listing stand out.