When consumers perform a business search, Google displays a map with local results. The listings on that map are pulled directly from Google Places for Business listings and, considering 85% of consumers search the Internet for local businesses, securing a Places listing is vital to remaining competitive.
Here are some of the benefits of having a Google Places listing for your small business:
- Greater exposure in local search results
- Advantage over competitors without listings
- Ability to add special offers
You can learn how to claim a listing and how to use offers to further engage potential customers with these simple steps.
Claim Your Google Places for Business Listing
- Create a Google account if you haven’t already, and then log in. Navigate to the Google Places page, and click “Get Started For Free.” Follow the simple directions.
- Search for your business in case a basic profile has already been created. If not, you can add your business at this time.
- Enter basic information. Consider this the “relevance” section that helps potential customers determine whether or not to continue reading about your business. Make sure all information is correct, including hours and days of operation, contact information, and the address.
- Use the “Additional Information” field for SEO purposes. When writing a description, use at least a few of the prime keywords for your organization. Use as much of this space as possible to draw your potential customers in, but make sure the information is easy to read with plenty of white space and brief paragraphs.
Note: Do not skip the optional image section. Use a high-quality image of your logo, storefront, yourself, or something related to your business to maximize your listing’s impression.
Google reviews your submission and sends you a confirmation call or physical postcard with a confirmation code. The card is mailed to the official address in your listing, so be sure to alert employees. The postcard has an expiration date, so make sure to follow the directions as soon as you receive it to finalize and secure your listing.
Create Offers for Potential Customers
Business owners can create offer coupons and discuss other small business topics through Google Offers for Business. The automated process is user-friendly, and offers can be edited later. There are some basic guidelines for using offers in your Places listing, so make sure you follow them correctly.
Claim Multiple Locations
If you have a main office with one or more satellite spaces, you can claim a separate listing for each location. This process is similar to the initial listing and can be accessed from your Google Places for Business Dashboard. Be sure to edit carefully, keeping brand information consistent while adding unique information and images for each location.
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