Are You Being Advertised Through Google Places Yet?
Did you know that 97% of consumers are searching for local businesses on the internet?
And that 20% of all searches on Google are for a service that people are trying to find locally?
Are you aware that most of these do not know that you exist?
Listing the physical address of your business in Google places is essential in today’s business climate. It can essentially capture ”hidden” customer pockets – whose absence is only due to the fact that they haven’t been able to discover you yet.
Gone are the days when people used the yellow pages or the phone book. The internet and smart phones have wiped these out. Instead, the big G is where people now go to find something. By having your business listed on Google, you become visible to the majority of your potential clients…
There was an old saying by Abraham Lincoln where he said that if he had 6 hours to cut down a tree, he would spend the first 4 hours sharpening his axe – and only two on actually chopping down the tree.
Listing your business on Google places is similar: there are some steps you need to take first before you can proceed with the next steps and see visible results.
You can spend ages trying to get your business visible for everyone to see, but you will likely find that you don’t see any progress, unless you put a little extra effort in upfront. This includes doing some research and finding out what terms relating to your business people are searching for.
What you will need to get started:
- A Google account
- A physical business address
Completing The Form
Once you have the above Google account, you are ready to start completing your listing. This part is very important, as if you insert any incorrect details, it will affect your listing and potentially lose you clients.
Google’s official guidelines are that you must put the name of your business as the title. This is great if your business is called ”Smiths Heating and Cooling” However, if your business name is simply ”Smith & Sons” it is suggested that you should also include a simple search term (such as a service that you provide).
You will also need to list your address and contact numbers. (It is very important that these are correct) as well as your website URL and email address…
The rest of the details that you need to fill in are the categories that your business is related to, the description of your business, and you will need to upload some photos.
Other optional information that you can add, include opening hours and methods of payment.
It is now time to spread the word!
If you do nothing after you have added your business to Google places, you will likely find that your business does not get shown on the first page and therefore, you will not attract many visitors. The key now is to get your business noticed by Google.
The way to do this is by gathering what are known as citations.
A citation is simply a listing of your business information on a third-party website such as Facebook, Yellow Pages and Yelp. It is much like a phone book listing that contains basic information about your business, but does not contain a link to your website.
The more citations that you have, the higher your business will rank in the search engine.
The next step is to get your customers to leave reviews. Every review that is left is an indication to Google that your business is worthy to searchers, and this will increase the likeliness of you reaching the first page. (It also allows other potential customers and clients to read these reviews).
Why You Should Consider Professional Help
It is not easy to create a business listing and ensure that it is always ranking on the first page for the world to see. There are many practices that need to be implemented to achieve this.
Hiring a company who are experts in creating business listings on Google places is a smart thing to do.
A company that deals with these listings on a regular basis will be able to ensure the following:
- Your Google listing will be high up in the search results
- Your listing is correct and accurate
- Your website traffic increases
- You receive ongoing citations and reviews
- Your listing benefits from social networking
- Your profits will likely increase.
Although you may think that hiring a professional is just another expense, without doing so, your local business will likely lose out on many potential customers…
HWA Guest Post By Chris Bassett – HWA 2.0 Content Manager