Google Places is an online tool that allows your local business to be listed on Google Maps, displaying store information for consumers to see. If you’re not aware of the term yet, an example of a Google Places listing is when you search for a restaurant and the left side of your browser shows the address, phone number, opening hours, reviews, website, and directions for that establishment.
No business owner will want to ignore the opportunity of this listing. Whether your company is listed on Google Maps can make or break your reach to potential customers. Not only does it boost the rankings of your company’s website, but proper optimization allows for customer reviews of your services. Because Google Maps is accessible by anyone in any platform or device, you’re getting customers and web traffic without even doing much.
Another notable fact is that approximately 97% of consumers browse for local businesses online. This means that Google, through paid and organic searches, can significantly influence your customer traffic and overall brand awareness. Even if you spend hundreds of dollars with SEO and digital marketing service, a simple Google Places listing should not be overlooked as it can be even more invaluable to your business.
In detail, here are the reasons your local business needs Google Places:
- Google Places is the new Yellow Pages. If you’re looking for a place to eat or the best salon service in the area, what do you use? Most people will Google search in an instant. With Google Places, relevant information (hours, photos, maps, reviews, contact number, website link) are provided to your target customers in just a click.
- Google Places optimize your site rankings. Since Google Places only focuses on local searches, any search would be limited to the businesses in a certain locality. If you’re listed, then you have greater chances to be seen by potential customers.
- Google Places can market your business. Without spending on television or print ads, small businesses can take advantage of this free service. It allows them to market their business in their target locality in a cost-effective manner.
Setting up your Google Places listing is easy. There are only three steps.
- Add your business information.
- Verify your listing using an automated phone call, text, or a postcard to your address.
- Wait for your listing to get published.
There are, however, mistakes that you must avoid. A Google Places listing is still ineffective if not done the right way. First, do not stuff your Places listing with keywords. Just nominate one category that seems most fit to your business. Never forget the important stuff such as the business phone number. Use a local phone number and not in a picture format. If you want to be rank higher in the results, consider adding videos and photos to your listing. It can be a 360-degree view of an office space or a well-taken indoor photo of a restaurant. Lastly, when it comes to your business overview or description, don’t oversell and avoid overused phrases such as “100% satisfied customers” or something to that effect.