Six steps to get yourself onto Google Places
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This is one of the all-time best traffic builders. Get your business listed on Google Places, and you will receive the benefits that a Google Places listing offers. And the best part is, a Google Places listing is free. What an excellent way to build your business and increase revenue! To get started, follow these six steps and you will achieve what other people will charge you to accomplish.
Why use Google Places?
Traditional advertising is on the decline. Print, TV, and Radio ad spending are declining and it is estimated that this decline will continue.
Online search activity is on the rise.
- 90% of online commercial searches result in offline brick and mortar purchases.
- 82% of local searches follow up off-line via an in-store visit, phone call, or purchase.
- 73% of online activity is related to local content.
- 68% of Americans use the Internet to find local businesses.
Listing your Business with Google Places is free.
How do customers find you on Google?
- Paid listings (Google Adwords)
- Organic search results - Free listings based on Google's algorithm. Competition is fierce and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts charge a great deal for this service.
- Local business results - Free listings from the Google Places directory prominently displayed next to the large Google Map.
All three of these listings have benefits and should be a part of every business owner's arsenal of tools used to attract business.
Getting your business listed on the the Local Business Search Results is vital to the success of your company -- whether your business be an online company or a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
Why is getting listed on Google Places important for my business?
- Google Places results are displayed at the TOP of the organic search results (just below any sponsored ads).
- There is a LARGE map next to the listings that draws attention to the business listings.
- This is PRIME virtual real estate --- and the best part is, it is free!
Steps to add your business to the Google Places Directory:
- Go to http://www.google.com/local/add/
- If you already have an account setup with Google, such as with Gmail, sign into your account. If not, create a new one. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that some business owners like to keep their personal Google account separate from their business Google account. So, in that case, create a new Google account for your business.
- Once logged in, click the "Add new business" button (on the far right of the page).
- Enter your company information and details.
- Use your primary business address and your main business phone number. Try to avoid toll-free numbers, back line numbers and tracking numbers.
- Use your actual dba (Doing Business As) and physical address. This is very important!
- Provide a keyword rich description of your business.
- Enter as many related categories as allowed. Use targeted keyword categories.
- Create new categories based on your optimum keywords. Remember that a keyword is a search term that people type into the search engines to find local businesses to buy from. So, think in terms of your client and what keywords they would type in to find your company. Makes sure the map correctly points to your location, and if it does not -- fix it. Fill out as many details as you can about your business. The more information that you enter, the better. You can edit this information at any time.
- Add up to 5 videos
- Add up to 10 photographs.
- Claim your business listing. Google might already have your business in their system. If so, claim it. If the listing is not there, add it.
- Validate your listing. This is a very important step and can take a few weeks. The reason being is that Google will mail you a validation code via post card to the address you have provided.
The picture below is an example of what Google will mail to your address within 2 weeks. It contains the authorization code and you will need to login to places.google.com upon receipt to enter this code.
Once your receive your pin number via post card, enter it in to activate your listing.
It may take Google a week or so before your listing is finalized and starts to appear in their search results. Be sure to access your listing's dashboard and optimize it further by adding coupons, deals, and posting special events and special dates in order to attract interest to your new Google Places listing.
Also, encourage happy customers to post reviews on your Google Places page.
As the owner of a web-based enterprise, small, medium or vente, your job is to increase visitors to your web site, who then are welcomed into your business.
Oh, and don't forget, go green with green hosting.