Google Places Listings are Essential For Your Business in Cumbria or Anywhere
Update: 19/06/2013 Last year Google started transitioning the map listings from Places over to its Google Plus offering. The process hasn’t been smooth, with The new Plus Local service was a nightmare to integrate and frequently was unusable. the promised integration with business pages has also been very hit and miss. Things seem to have calmed down now and there is less chatter on the forums about foul ups and more about getting the system to work more optimally.
Another significant change to the “rulebook” was the stipulation that service businesses that don’t have custoimers coming through their front door and who tend to go out to their clients, were no longer allowed to show their address. It had top be added in the dashboard, but wasn’t to be shown in the live listings. Currently my listed service areas now have me floating somewhere over the Pennines when I last checked. My marker is now a round ball instead of the famous google pin marker.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Google Places is an important component of Google Maps.
Starting a couple of years ago, Google set about creating an internet business tool that tied locations and customer facing, local businesses together. For the business owner, this attempt by Google to map out the business landscape of the world means that they can make themselves known to potentially millions of new prospects with relatively little effort. For businesses with a local target market it is like a back door to page 1 ranking in the right hands.
The basic idea behind Google Places is for each and every place on Google Maps to have a mini website that distils the essential information that a customer might need into a strictly formatted layout. When a business, or Google themselves, create a Places page it lists your business in Google’s search results and you have the option to create a marker for it on the Google Maps database. If you’re not careful it’s very easy to let your business slip under the customer radar by ignoring the possibilities of an optimized listing in Google Places.
There are many reasons why a Google Places listing makes sense for your business but listed below are five of the really important ones. The Internet is the number one place where people search for business information (particularly locally). Significantly, more than 20% of all Google searches are for local (I repeat) local businesses. Gone is the yellow ten-pound telephone brick.
In 21st Century land, search technology is where it’s at when advertising for new customers and keeping in front of established clients. Simples really: if you are not easily found online, you WILL lose customers to businesses that are.
You can optimize your Google Places listing to highlight your business and gather your target audience. Google Places doesn’t let you call the shots when it comes to creating copy for your page, but it does give you some very valuable space to categorise the business entity and then upload a brief description, pictures and videos, creating a page that is completely customized to your business’ message.
Places Pages are quite easily optimized for maximum exposure in search engine results. Just a few fairly repetitive tasks goes a long way towards optimising your business’ page. This can generate significant improvements in search engine results return. You are in sufficient control of your Places page to monitor and adjust its performance. You have the option of altering your page as often as you like and there is even a slot for Tweet-like updates and a slot for customer reviews which you should be encouraging.
A Google Places page is more than a yellow pages listing. The listing is there to use as a very authoritative support for your business’ standing on the web. Importantly it is able to provide links to your website (or, more effectively sometimes, your most highly ranked directory listing). It gives a platform for a business to post videos of your operation, and to request feedback from customers. Places pages help to drive interaction with your customers, through reviews and ratings. Google Places is perfect for mobile search. With people using the Internet from their mobile devices more often than from their laptops or home computers, Google Places puts your business in front of these customers in a format that can actually be accessed from even the most ancient of Internet phones! Effectively this makes it easy for you to reach this hugely important sector of the consumer market in a readable format!
Google Places and its cousins on Bing and Yahoo maps are critical in keeping your business visible in today’s fast-paced, change orientated market place. It is essential that your business is listed with Google Places. Google has made the process fairly fast, almost easy – and fundamentally free. By expending a little effort, you can have your business’ Places page up and running very quickly.
You can ensure your page’s success by paying attention to the keywords that YOUR next best customer is actually using to search for your services or products. If you need any help in unpicking the Places process then don’t be shy – call us, Consulting Cumbria, where we specialize in Google optimisation. In plain English we get you more customers from the Internet.
Phone 01228 907 795, or email Ray Cassidy.