If you are a small business owner and you are looking to increase your SEO online, or you simply want to maximise your online presence, you should start considering Google Places. It is often forgotten about by small businesses who are focused on Search Engine Marketing who at times don’t always realise what’s available to them as an effective marketing and ranking tool.
What is it exactly?
Currently, Google Places acts as a free listing on Google Search Results and Google Maps so when potential customers search for local information, or if they search keywords that correlate to your company details, services or products, they can find your business and usually (if the competition isn’t too big) at the top! A small profile will appear at the location of your business on the map, including street address, contact details, operating hours, and a profile photo of your shop front or even of your products. It also includes neat things like ‘discount’ voucher options, which can often attract a keen buyer looking for a good deal.
Millions of people use Google Maps & Search Results every single day. Considering that this is a free listing to have placed and that you are diversifying your marketing strategies without having to spend a penny, you can’t really go wrong and it is therefore one of Little Big Voice’s top Search Engine Marketing tips! Get on there!
Through signing up you allow for local customers who are either already searching for the products/services you provide, or at least searching for something similar, a chance to reach you via Google Places. You can even reach entirely new customers by listing your business with Google Places. This is an ideal option for small businesses or even large, established companies who want to optimise their chances. All your listings can be managed from a single account and every time your listing is edited it is updated within the space of weeks, not months, so it is virtually ‘real time’.
What are the main benefits to my business?
The majority of customers search for businesses online, more than any other place. Google is the most used search engines in the world, and a high yield of users click on the first few rankings on the first page, so you can see by having a Google Listing here you can really benefit.
Google Places offers you the opportunity to surpass other more established rankings, regardless of your size. Search engines can be incredibly difficult to rank for; it can take months and more to get a high ranking on the first page in some cases, especially if the competitors market is already densely populated and you want to be on that page near the top! That’s the goal. Google Places sets you on the path to achieving that goal.
Through Google, your business will get displayed at the top of local searches for your type of business. iPhones are being used in ever greater numbers to find certain local businesses in ‘real-time’ situations and due to your listing on Google Places, when your business type is searched for, your shop/office/service will show up as a pin on any search, so again, this is another market you can tap in to. The closer they are in locality the more likely they are to simply walk over to you and stop by. Google Places gives you this opportunity to be listed via the iPhone, helping to improve your rankings and most importantly of all, bringing in the customers.
Are there any catches?
You’ll be pleased to hear that there are no catches involved with this. Beyond the fact that it is practical and easy to manage, your Google listing maintains an online presence for your business even if you don’t have a website.
Oh and did we mention that it is free and that even the premium options are free such as adding videos, photos and coupons to entice first-time or repeat custom and unbelievably there are still a number of businesses that don’t know about it. Signing up is a simple process too, so help optimise searches for your business with help from Google… for free.
You just need a Google account and if you’re already getting Search Engine Marketing advice or services, it’s a simple add-on for your Search Engine Marketing specialist who will be happy to talk you through the process and get you on the map.