The important question is: have you verified your Google Places local business listing? It is a totally free web page on the internet that you can fill with all your business information, directions to your place of business, images, videos, reviews, citations and more.
When Google creates your listing in Google Places, it shows your contact information and may show it in Google Maps. Your listing may even include a couple of reviews that Google pulls from other websites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle or other business sites.
That’s the extent of what Google does for you. What you need to do is to verify your listing so that you can continue to be shown at the top of Google local listings for your market, or get to the top if you are not yet there.
Google allows you to input more business information, obtain citations and positive customer reviews. They have coupons for you to advertise that also connects you to the mobile opportunity where people can find you on their cell phones. Google even has QR codes available to you and there is a lot of marketing ideas that you can integrate with your Google Places account to help you grow your business, get more prospects and more customers.
When people go to Google and search for your business, type of service or product, and location, they now find the local business listings, Google Places, along the left side of the search results page ‘” right with the organic listings that 70-90% of people click.
If your business has ‘claimed’ or ‘verified’ its listing, it has a much better chance of being at the top of the listings in your local area.
How do you know if your business has verified its Google listing? We can tell after a few clicks if your business listing has been verified. If you go the ‘Places’ page after you do a Google search for your business + location, you will see if there is an ‘Owner Verified’ tab shown or a ?
If you don’t verify your listing, you risk losing your spot in Google.
Claiming Your Business’s Google Places Listing
Here are three important reasons why it’s more important than ever to verify your Google Places page (read each carefully so you understand AND appreciate the significance this can mean for your business):
When Google made some recent changes to search results, Google Places results now appear when Google predicts that people are searching for local information when they type in the Google search bar. You can get there without the kind of monthly fee that Yellow Pages charges ‘” Google listings are free.
In addition, the local results are no longer separated from the organic Google results (the links that appear down the left side of Google searches). Local Google Places pages are now integrated with those organic results. This is important to know because 70-90% of people click on organic results rather than paid ads that run down the right side of Google search pages.
Also, there will be a link for “Places” in the left-hand panel (menu section under Google heading) of a Google Search page so searchers can switch to local results whenever they want. Some people who search in Google will choose to turn this on and focus on local business results only ‘” and you want to be right at the top!
Optimizing your Google Business Listing in Google Places
Google Places business pages are enhanced listings with more information than is usually returned in a Google result.
You have the opportunity to add business information, pictures, website links, videos and reviews. There is a map and directions to your business.
You can increase the value of your Google Places page (in Google’s eyes) by continuing to add content to the page including additional reviews, add citations, and also add valuable content to your business’s main website as well. All of these activities work together to give authority to your business on the internet.
Right now 20% of searches on Google are related to location. It is important that your business is listed high on the first page of a Google search. People primarily click on the top results.
Google Maps are the new “Yellow Pages”. Maps are also mobile and will show up on cell phones ‘” and the number of people getting smart phones with internet access increases every day. People can call you simply by clicking on your phone number in your business listing. More and more people are doing this because it is fast, easy and integrates with the mobile world where we now live.
All businesses that want to be competitive when people search for them now need a local listing on the internet and should have a mobile presence as well.
If you haven’t “claimed” your Google listing, you are still in the majority. Most businesses have not ‘” and should do so now.
Google has found you already. Just Google your business name and address.
What you need to do is verify your listing AND optimize it.
Connecting your local listing and a mobile listing can be done at the same time so that you are set up for both.
Fusing web, mobile and offline presence will help your business dominate the search results for your market.
If you haven’t verified your listing, we can help you do that and tell you how to use it most effectively.
If you have verified your business listing, chances are you have not optimized it by obtaining citations and reviews, placing pictures and video on the page, and securing the best keywords people use to find you.