5 Reasons to Claim Your Google Places Listing Today

Google Places is a  service that allows business owners to have a  single page website for free, courtesy of Google.

If you're a small business and have not claimed your Google Places page yet, you’re simply throwing money away.  Or maybe you just don’t need any more business, in which case I would love to know what line of business you are in.  There are thousands of potential customers searching online everyday looking for a business just like yours, why not take advantage of a easy and free way to get in front of those people?

Think of it like an online Yellow Pages listing except that you can create and personalize all of the content yourself.  The ability to write your own business descriptions, add images and video, makes Google Places a must have for any small business.

If you want to find out more about Google Places, you can read my previous article which introduces business owners to Google Places.  If you still need convincing, listed below are 5 reasons you should claim your Google Places listing.

Be found on Google Maps

Your Google Places page is tied directly to Google Maps.  When a user performs a local search, such as “Denver Plumber”, a map will show up in the results that include place markers for plumbers in Denver.  More so, a list of local plumbers with links to their Google Places page and (if you have one), your own website will also appear next to the map.  If you have not claimed your Google Places page, there is very little chance that you will show up in these kind of search results.

google local search results sample

Rank higher in the search engine results

Google understands that many searches online have a local intent to them.  This means that Google will try and “localize” the search results for a user when possible and according to the type of search they perform.
What this means for local business owners is that you now have the potential of showing very high in the search results for local search terms (Boulder pizza shops), above even large national pizza chains.  The localization of search has leveled the playing field for small business owners when it comes to search engine results.  How you rank in the Google search results really depends on how you optimize your Google Places page.  The thing is, you can’t optimize it if you never claimed it in the first place.

Showcase your business

When you claim the Google Places page for your business, you have the opportunity to add photos and video highlighting your business.  People love visuals and adding these to your page will really help potential customers see what your business is about.

Examples of photos to add are the inside and outside of your store, employees in action and featured products. Videos are a great way to show your product or service in action as well as a chance for the owner to speak directly to their customers.

google places sample page

Get Customer Reviews for your Google Places Page

Google loves customer reviews, especially when they are hosted on one of their own products.  Google Places allows your customers to leave reviews about your business.  This “Social Proof” is vital for potential customers who are trying to decide whether or not to shop with you.  Amazon.com built an E-commerce empire off of customer reviews.

google places customer reviews

Google Places is Free

The great thing about Google Places is that it's free.   Also, you don't need to have your own website in order to use it. Though I highly recommend that you create your own website, for a number of reasons we won’t discuss here, your Google Places page can allow you to have a great online presence hosted by Google for free, and with little work on your part.

Don’t forget about Bing local and Yahoo local

Though we talked about Google Places today, Bing and Yahoo both offer their versions of a local listing for small business owners and I recommend that you go ahead and grab those listings too as Google is not the only search engine that people use.
If you are a small business owner and have questions about Google Places or local marketing, feel free to contact me here with your questions.
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Gary

CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
4 replies
  1. Htc in Pakistan
    Htc in Pakistan says:

    Amazing article and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier topics as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

  2. Nyagoslav
    Nyagoslav says:

    I think gradually Google is rebranding Places in the correct direction – from a means to increase the organic rankings of your business to a whole-proof online business outpost, where everything related to the business is stored and shown. Interesting article, Gary.

  3. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    Thanks Nyagoslav, Google is definitely making search more local. Since Google is a dominant search engine, at least in the USA and Europe, Google Places is a must for small business owners. Cheers

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Since Google is still the dominate search engine in most of the world, Google Places is an important starting point to building a strong online presence for your business.  There are several ways you can customize your Places listing and you should spend some time on it as it will help in your search results rankings.  If your not familiar with Places, you can read an article that I wrote on Google Places for Small Business. […]

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