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.
Rank higher in the search engine results
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.
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 is Free
Don’t forget about Bing local and Yahoo local
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