If you have claimed your Google Places page, please feel free to skip the rest of this. If you have not claimed your Google Places page. Do it! Better yet, talk with the people you trust most with your web presence about why and how. That may be someone on your staff, your webmaster, or your web marketing people. Oh, by the way, if they haven’t been telling you to use Google Local Business Center (before it morphed into Google Places) for the last few years, you should ask them why not.
Why is claiming your Google Place Page important? On April 20, 2010, while introducing Google Places, they said, “One out of five Google searches is related to location.” Seven months later, the frequency of local searches has surely grown.
Google says, “More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your business listing can be easily found on Google.com and Google Maps.” They obviously believe it, as demonstrated by their blog post, “Place Search: a faster, easier way to find local information.”
After you claim your page, you may enhance the Place Page for your business by adding photos, videos, tags, hours of operation, coupons, and even real-time updates like weekly specials. One of the “features” is “ Reviews by Google users” which presents a compelling reason to “claim” your business Places page. Business owners that claim their listing may respond to negative (and positive) reviews. Here are some guidelines for managing your listing.
When is your Google Places listing displayed? Your listing will display when someone does a search on Google Web Search, Google Maps, Mobile search, 1-800-GOOG-411 voice directory search, or Google Earth. On any of these services, a search directly for your business name and city, will most likely display your listing. If your listing is well crafted, searches for your business category or services will trigger a display of your listing.
There is a lot more to be said, but I’ll just close, by telling you, this is the most important local business search-related action you can take. Google Places is free, and you can easily claim and enhance the listing yourself. Invest a little time, and do this today!
Learn more about Google Places, and remember, Don’t Lose Your Place!
As always, feel free to post a comment or question, or call John at 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750.