Thanks to Google Places, getting started with local business internet marketing is not as difficult as it seems. Even if you don’t have a website, you can still easily get started by getting yourself a listing on Google’s local business listings portal.
What Is Google Places For Business?
Google has millions of users and you will be able to reach them quickly and easily with Google Places. Google Places is a free service. You simply create a business listing, which Google may show in the search results.
Benefits of using Google Places
The biggest benefit of using Google Places is that it gets better rankings when Google displays local search results. So if someone enters something in Google such as ‘laser hair treatment – Istanbul’, Google will retrieve information from the Places Page and combine it with data from businesses’ websites. A word of warning though; it is claimed that you don’t need a website to get started but because of the merging of Places with regular sites, it means that you should have a website if you want to rank well.
Another thing I really like about Google Places is that it is easy to use. It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can visit your listing anytime to edit your information or see how many people have seen and clicked on your listing.
You can also be creative with your listing and you can make your listing as personal as you like by adding photos, videos and offering coupons. There is a space for you to include little tweet-style updates and your customers can leave a review – basically, a whole lotta value for a free listing.
Tips For Getting the Most Out of Google Places
It is really worth spending a little time making your listing as effective as possible. When they go to write a listing, many businesses are content to make sure their business name, address and phone numbers are correct. But if you limit yourself to these basics, you’re not taking full advantage of one of the internet’s most effective marketing tools.
Take company names, for example. GP allows you to adjust your company name slightly so that you can get more organic traffic. A Lebanese restaurant might simply be called ‘Habibi’s’, but if you add the words ‘Lebanese restaurant’ to the listing name, you are more likely to get better results.
Here are some more useful tips:
- Always put an address, even if you are a driver and don’t have an office or fixed location. The reason is that Google will often list according to location, and you are not showing an address, your listing may not show.
- Always check to make sure you are in the right catagory. Also GP lets you list up to 5 different catagories so use them if you need to.
- Make sure you include keywords in your business description
- Upload a video of yourself. Nothing gives a listing a personal touch more than the business owner speaking to a potential customer. This is especially true if your customers are coming from abroad, as they will probably want to know that you speak good English.
- Take advantage of things like the tweet-style updates, and especially the reviews. For some reason, even though we may think they are fake, reviews really work. The same thing goes for professional endorsements.
- Include something that you think is unique to your business
- Tell people which areas you serve. You are more like to show up in location searches if you do
- Put your logo on your site – it makes your listing seem more professional
I mean it. Stop whatever you’re doing and get registered on Google Places. It truly is one of the best tools a local internet marketer has.
And while we’re on the subject of google, make sure you download my free copy of ‘Uncovering Google + the Next Social Media Giant’ and don’t forget to retweet.