Get the Most Out of Your Google Places Listing

Resources for Making Sure Your Listing is Up to Snuff

About a week ago, Google announced that it had changed the name of the Google Local Business Center to Google Places. Along with that, however, they announced a good deal of new features that businesses should be aware of. If you are not, they include: service areas, advertising with tags, business photo shoots, customized QR codes, and more favorite places. You can read about them more here.

How important is Google Places to your strategy? Discuss here.

Don’t stop there though. Google Places may be a vital part of your strategy for getting customers to your location. The company has put together some resources for businesses to learn more about Google Places so they can maximize the benefits.

Google Tag advertising - new feature for Google Places"With a new name comes a fresh support experience," says Google Places Senior Strategist Brianna Brekke. "The Google Places team wants to make sure that, as a business owner, your experience with Google Places is a good one, so we’ve taken some steps to expand and refine our support offerings."

There is of course a help center where businesses can learn more about managing their listings and new features, as well as report problems. A newly revamped user guide and support channels are available here. Google has made it more interactive as well, adding a guided tou of the Place Page.

If you have questions or ideas for Google Places, you can check out the Google Moderator page, where you can not only contribute, but vote up the ideas from others that you like. On May 21, Google is actually going to review the top questions and record video responses, which they’ll post in the help center.

Forums have always been great venues for the exchange of ideas and for people to get help with their problems. You can discuss how to improve your Google Places listing and other related issues at the forum they’ve set up. Help here comes from volunteers deemed "top contributors" as well as Google employees.

Finally, Google has webinars you can sign up for where you can educate yourself about your Google Places listing. All of the resources can be found here. You may want to bookmark it.

Local businesses should consider how big a role Google plays in many people’s lives when it comes to finding information, including something as simple as looking up a local business. With mobile usage on the rise, it stands to reason that this will become even more the case.

That’s not to say that you should stop at Google. In fact, I believe search is getting more diversified as a result of mobile. People are looking to more places (via apps) to find the information they’re looking for. Google is still a huge factor, however, and that will remain for the foreseeable future. Android usage is on the rise, and that means a lot of convenient Google Voice searching, and one-button Google searches.

There are 6 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. For certain categories such as travel and hotels Google Place pages are more – yes more – important than the standard “web” results.

    I’ve client with a number 1 organic position for the largest term in its category, yet the map delivers an equal amount of traffic.

  2. Just how valuable is Google to an overall business marketing strategy and what part is considered in your business plan?

    Online marketers agree that you can’t ignore the benefits of claiming your Google Places listing (http://techspokes.com/google-places-too-important-to-overlook/). Over 5,000,000 businesses have, so far.

    There is the obvious visual differentiation: Google Places occur before organic search listings and:

    • 73% of all online activity is related to local content (Google)
    • 82% of local searchers follow up with a phone call or show up on your doorstep (TMP/comScore)
    • 66% of Americans use local search to find local businesses (comScore)

    Then there’s the variety of methods to consider:

    "With the rise of smart phone use in the US, (Google Android and iPhone are currently reporting roughly 500,000 activations a day ) it’s more important than ever to have your Google places listing up to speed because when people use voice search on  Android phones, the first results they see are from Google local." (http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/11/5-ways-local-search/)

    Every small business will want to squeeze every bit of opportunity in Google Places – including adding a video to the profile. As affordable as it is today, there’s truly no excuse not to, and if your business doesn’t you can be sure your competition will. It’s only a matter of when.

    Ignoring the power of a properly formatted Google Places listing is rather like having a business and not putting up a street sign. How can you expect to people to find you?

    Regards,

    Melanie

     

    EWORLDWIRE(R) Press Release News Wire Service (http://www.eworldwire.com)

    VOXSI(R) Video Production Service (http://www.voxsi.com)

     

  3. For small businesses Google Places makes your listing more eye catching to your prospects and can increase the rate of click-through thus increasing your chances of sales or leads.

  4. Yes, more and more people search online for products and services rather than using paper directories. This is great news if your website appeasr on the first page of Google results for the relevant search phrase. Having a listing on Google places means you get a separate listing right at the top of the search results. If you have a website, getting your business liste don Google maps via Google Places is essential. If you are lucky enough to get some reviews, they also show up in the listings. Visit my home page to learn how to get listed.

  5. If most, if not all, of your business involves traveling to serve customers, Google Places now allows you to indicate on Google Maps which geographic area(s) you serve without providing an official address for your business.

  6. For any size business google places should be of top importance. Whether your looking for a dance studio for your kids or your home needs replacement windows Tacoma yo usually search google. I don’t get calls from the phone book anymore it usually come from the web. 

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