Although the economy still feels the effects of the GFC, the internet remains to be flexible with billions of searches made each week. As a matter of fact, around 97% of customers are searching for local businesses online, based on Google’s data release.
If your business does not have a strong web presence, then you are missing out on the opportunity to make lucrative bottom line. You don’t need to have huge budget to advertise online because there are a lot of low cost and free marketing tools you can take advantage of and Google Places for business is one of them.
Basically, Google Places is a local directory of businesses online. This works by helping customers find local business simply by searching for certain keywords or key phrases in Google. For instance, type ‘Sydney + restaurant’ in Google and a chain of restaurants in the city will be listed including their locations and contact details. The directory will display the exact physical location of the establishment on a street map using the web passed application of Google known as Google Maps.
Google Places has the ability of showing up on the first page of the search results of Google rank it on top along with a helpful map. This is the first thing that the internet user will see and it is displayed on top of your own website.
With search engine optimization becoming more important to successful strategies online, there is no other time than now to start making use of great tools like Google Places. Local businesses competing for sales online but don’t have map listing would find it so difficult to achieve higher rank on their target keywords when Google favors the Google Places directory.
To make the most of Google Places listing, here is what you need to do.
• Sign up – Registering for the service is the first step and this is done by entering the information of your business on Google Places. This is how easy and fast it is. You just have to enter your contact details, shop address, business website and hours your business operates. If you do not have a store or office and you choose not to disclose your home address, choose hide personal details and specify service area.
• Use appropriate keywords – Every time you mention your business, your products or services in the listing descriptions, do not forget to use keywords and phrases customers are most likely to search for. This helps boost your website optimization and will display your business as well in the competitive search results.
• Add relevant images – This is achieved by submitting relevant photos to your business. This may include photos of your office or storefront, your staffs or your best-selling products.
• Provide customer reviews – When your Google Places is already up and running, encourage your customers to post feedbacks on your listings. In case you don’t know, Google favors customer reviews as it means that your business is active.
• Stay on top of the game – Like any other social media page you may have, you also need to keep track of your Google Places and track feedback.
Google Places is a relatively new tool that business owners can use to make their business competitive and to allow it to reach more customers. It is paramount to the success of an online marketing campaign and needs to be integrated with SEO to see maximum results.
Sign up for free Google Places: www.google.com/places/