So how can this help your business?
Google seem to have crawled the web and picked up any business currently listed in a directory and created a listing for that business. However, now we have to claim those pages, and that secures them for our businesses. We can add photos, videos, special offers, hours of business, and most importantly customer reviews.
In fact, customers can add reviews themselves – good or bad – and I have seen Google Places pages that haven’t been claimed by the business yet, with customer reviews on there already!
Presumably at some point, the Places pages listing that have been claimed will take precedence over those that have not, and indeed, the pages where the businesses have claimed and customised their pages, and where there are reviews, are starting to be shown higher than those that have not.
It’s as if Google has given your business your own, fully search engine optimised website! All you have to do is claim it and make it even better.
Google seems to be experimenting with layouts still, so you will see something different each time you search. But you can see that this has major implications for your business, if Google – who have 80% or more of the search market now – is placing more emphasis on locally orientated results.
If you look down the left hand side of your Google search results page you will see that they have even tagged your location! You can change that, which is great for marketing experts like my firm, as we can see how our clients websites are faring in their home town, even if we not working there.
If you haven’t noticed the changes, here’s a picture of how it all looks now – click the pic to enlarge – with my notes about what each type of search result actually is.
You may also notice one of my clients Paul Stanford of 4Momentum enjoying a Top 3 position in Google Places for the search key phrase “business marketing brighton” even though Paul is based in Shoreham not Brighton!
He’s actually competing with me accidentally for the same search term and because his site has been online longer, he’s beating me! So far…..
So You Might Be Wondering… How Can I Add My Business To Google Places?
- Get very, very specific about the key phrase your ideal customer or client is likely to use, to search for your product or service on Google.
- Then, simply sign up for (or login to) your Google account and then use the Google search box to search “Google Places” or click the link there.
- Follow the simple instructions to add your business and here’s a couple of “Top Tips” to get the most out of your listing.
- When you are
choosing your categories, you are allowed 5, so make sure one of them at least is a category Google suggests. Then pick 4 others or create your own “custom” categories if yours is not shown previously. Google want you do describe your business type here, not what your business does.
- Don’t forget to verify your listing by getting Google to send you a text to your mobile and then add that code sent, to your listing, to verify immediately. Otherwise it’s 2-3 weeks waiting for a postcard!
- Specify the area you cover – keeping it very local. Better to have several local listings for a business that covers and is based in several areas than try and specify a bigger area…you will need one real local address per listing though.
- OR use the tool to specify which size / radius area you service – but again, keep it as local as possible.
- Add pictures and videos (if you have some on YouTube) to personalise your listing – customer video testimonials would be great here! (Or use an audio testimonial edited to include a picture – voila! Instant video testimonial)
- When your page is approved, get the link and send it to your top customers with a request for them to write a short review of the difference you have made to them (or ask them for their Google login and do it for them)
- Don’t forget to use the Voucher / Coupon tab to create a time-limited special offer for your future customers – give people a reason to take action today!
- Use one of your photo spots to feature your business QR Code (Quick Response Code) as this will enable your customers to scan it with their smart phone and be taken straight to your special offer.
One of my clients, who happens to be my sister, is offering singing lessons in Brighton and we got her website to Page One of Google within just 2 weeks after we added her Google Places listing to her new website.
Note that we just searched “singing teacher” not even “singing teacher Brighton” as Google knows that I’m based in Hove and showed me the most relevant LOCAL results. Scary eh? (Click to enlarge the picture).
If you have more time than money. I hope this post helps you to list YOUR business on Google Places and beat your competitors to the front page.
However if you have some money but no time, we can do this all for you, as part of our Business Internet Marketing Setup Package and we can maintain your Google Places listing on an ongoing basis as part of the ongoing service we offer as your outsourced Marketing Department. We also offer a FREE Website Marketing MOT so get in touch if you have found this article useful.
Category: Personal Finance