Google Places and Your Business’ Online Success. Part 1

Have you “claimed” your Google Places listing yet? If not, you’re missing out on a terrific free marketing tool, one that can help your business’ appear first on a Google search page — without you having to pay a dime!

Google Places is Google’s free business listing service. Started by Google in 2009, it’s taken Google Maps up a notch. Google Places allows you to create a business profile and place as much information about your business within it. You can upload pictures, videos, your business hours, and information about your products/services, etc. What’s more, you don’t even need a website to rank well with Google Places (although if you do have a website, Google Places will help it get more traffic, as well).

To put together your Google Places listing, go to places.Google.com/business. If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for it here. You then follow Google’s instructions to set up your Places listing. Google also will give you some tips you can follow to help your Places listing rank even higher (and we’ll do so, as well, in our next post).

But wait, there’s more!

Google Places also is interactive. Your customers can leave reviews about your product/service that other people can read. Naturally, you’ll want positive reviews, so you may want to ask a few loyal customers if they would leave a review for you. You can send them an e-mail with a link to your Places listing asking them to write a testimonial. Use your autoresponder program to automatically send an e-mail to new customers.

As you put your Google Places listing together, you’ll want to be sure that your business’ information on other online directories is accurate since Google Places looks at that information as it ranks your listing. If you have different information at different directories, Google may not “trust” the information.

Finally, and this is important, you’ll want to choose the right keywords to describe your business in your Google Places listing. Good keywords will help your listing rank even higher in search results.

We’ll talk more in our next post about how you can optimize your Google Places listing.

If you’d like more information about how to best use your Google Places listing, contact GoiMarketing.com. We can list your business for you, using all the best SEO techniques to help ensure your Places “place” comes up first in search results. Contact us today!