Google strives to offer their customers the best experience possible, whether it’s Search, Google Places, or Google Maps, and this is an excellent way for small local businesses to receive a lot of free advertising. Google makes it very easy for you to get this free advertising, by simply providing them with information. By giving as much information as possible, about your business, your product, your location, and even pictures, they will in return give you basically free advertising.
When done correctly, the end result is a boost in traffic to your website, leads for your business, and best of all, new customers. If you go to Google search and type in “restaurant Springfield Illinois” you’ll see on the right hand side of the results, a restaurant listed, a map of where it is, its rating, option to click on the Google reviews for the restaurant, and a host of other options. Then you’ll see results for other restaurants in the area, noting the one with a picture is given top placement. If you click on the reviews that are available, you’re now taken to the Google+ Local page for that restaurant. This then offers people a wealth of information, if the owner of the business has setup their Google+ Local page correctly.
How to Set Up Your Google Listing
They’re a number of things you’ll want to have ready before you start building your page. You need to write a really good description of your business, and you’ll want to include your address, phone number, and any other type of contact information that you want the public to have. Do you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account? You’ll want to include those as well. Does your business have a logo, or do you have pictures that you’d like to display? Google will even let you put coupons on the site at no charge.
Your main goal is to provide as much information as possible, in order to attract new customers. Videos and pictures can be very powerful tools to use in this type of setting. To start just go to http://www.google.com/places/ and click on the “Get Started” icon. Now Google will connect this account to your regular Google account. Fill-in as much as possible, as described above, remembering that Google will want a valid telephone number, in order to ensure you’re not already listed. Don’t stress out about the information as Google will allow edits and updates, anytime you want to change or add things to your page. Make sure to include information about what area or areas you’d like to be seen in, so Google knows where to list you.
Videos and Pictures Are Powerful Tools
It cannot be overstated how valuable videos and pictures can be to your business. Those visiting Google Places will be more likely to explore your site, if you offer them content that’s interesting. You can use YouTube for your videos, and then link them to your Google Places account.
Last, but not least, Google will not list your site until you validate your business. This avoids all the fake listings, and Google will validate you by sending a postcard by “snail” mail. When you receive it, just follow the instructions, and Google will let your site go live. Over time, work on your listing to make it the best it can possibly be, and Google will reward you by showing your Google Places site more often.