Google Places for My Business
Jun 14, 2012 Google
Google Places for My Business. Launched in 2009, Google Places was developed to serve as an online yellow pages – allowing businesses to park virtual offices in their prospective locations on Google Maps, and then to furnish those offices with everything relevant about their businesses that they would want potential customers to know. Since then, Google Places has completely overtaken the yellow pages market, making that big, cumbersome book all but obsolete. As a matter of fact, statistics show that 97 percent of all consumers use the Internet as their number one source for finding local businesses. In light of these startling numbers, it seems that many businesses are still struggling with the logistics of using Google Places to its maximum potential. How can you get the most out of your Google Places listing? Here are five ways to use Google Places for your business:
Your Google Places listing. The first step to establishing your presence on Google Places is to create your listing. This is done in three simple steps: submitting all of your pertinent business information, providing Google with verification that your business is what you say it is (business card, website, business advertisement, etc.), and then waiting for Google to approve and feature your listing.
Keywords and relevant content. When adding content to your Google Places listing, be sure to make it as relevant and keyword-rich as possible. This will improve your organic search engine ranking. Take time to do ample keyword research when creating your content.
Images. Load your Google Places listing with plenty of photographs, and even videos, depicting your business. Studies show that web surfers are much more responsive to images than to text, and using keyword-tagged images also moves you up in the Google search engine rankings.
Encourage reviews. Your Google Places listing allows for your customers to write and post reviews to your space. Customer reviews are a great way to promote your business, so be sure to ask your satisfied customers to help you out in this respect.
Google Business Photos. Although this free Google service is still just catching on, it can be a great way for you to dramatically improve upon your Google Places listing. Basically, when you sign on with Google Business Photos, Google will send out a photographer to do a 360 degree photoshoot of the interior of your business, so that visitors to your Google Places listing can take a virtual tour.
Requirements of a Google Places Listing
Not only is Google Places free and easy to use, but it is also one of the most prominent and powerful entities on the web when it comes to business advertising. As a matter of fact, it is safe to say that Google Places has completely taken over the yellow pages market, making that bulky book a thing of yesterday. Your business should be taking advantage of all Google Places has to offer, and that begins with a complete listing. Want to know how to get the most out of your Google Places page? Here are seven requirements of a Google Places listing.
A Google account. Before you can set up a Google Places listing, you must first have a valid Google account.
Your business name. It is required that you list your business name exactly as it is on your business license – no exceptions. This means that you cannot place keywords into your business name, no matter how tempting it is.
Business address. Your business address must be listed exactly as it appears on your business license (or, how you would list it on any business correspondence).
Business telephone number. You must list a valid, verifiable business phone number. Be sure to include the area code.
Proof. Before Google will publish your Places page to the web, you must provide proof of the accuracy of your business information. This may be in the form of a business card, an advertisement, or a verifiable phone number.
Compliance. Google sets some stringent guidelines when it comes to content, and you must comply with these guidelines, or else risk being blacklisted by Google altogether. Google Places content guidelines address everything from copyrighting laws to pornography, and can be accessed through Google Places support (on the website).
Completeness. Although it is not exactly necessary that you complete each and every space on your Google Places listing in order to publish the page, it is absolutely necessary that you fill in all the blanks (even the optional ones) if you want to score a 100 percent. A perfect score is necessary to earning a high Google search engine ranking, so make sure your listing information is complete.