As location based services are becoming more popular with searchers through the use of map searches and mobile devices, it is important that all businesses have some presence. The first place that you should turn to is Google. Google Local has recently been replaced with Google Places. You may have seen the map that appears in Google that includes local businesses related to your search query. These results are coming from Google Places.
To get started, open http://maps.google.com/ and search for your company.
Once you locate your business, click on the “more info” link to open the Place page. Here you will be able to claim your listing if you have not already done so.
Once you go through the claiming process, edit the information to make sure it is up to date. Choose the most appropriate categories, or create them if they don’t already exist. You will now have the ability to view statistics about how people are utilizing your Google Places page. Some of the items you will be able to view include:
Another great feature that you will receive is a QR code. A QR code is a graphic code that can be read and interpreted by Smartphone cameras with the right application installed.
You can place this QR code on business cards, store locations and in other print collateral. When the QR code is read by a phone, it will give a mobile version of the page, which is easier to read. Below is an example of what the Google Places page for MoreVisibilty looks like after being read with a QR Code:
Setting up your Google Places account is the first step to success in the local search landscape.
In today’s world people are using search engines to perform research on businesses before they step foot in the door.
Google has enhanced its Local Business Center platform into “Google Places.” Google has noticed that people want to better connect with public pages so they have changed some of the features of their local listings. These new features allow business owners to manage their own pages and enhance their business listing.
The more complete your Google local profile is, the more potential it has to rank organically. The key is to populate fields with the best “straight forward” description of your company. Personally I have found that I feel more comfortable visiting a business with a few of the fields listed such as, store hours, pictures, and the website listing. This provides a sturdy framework for a good first impression of the business.
Available Listing Categories
Enhanced Listings Introduced by Google Places
One out of five searches performed on Google are related to locations. Keeping that in mind, you want to put your best foot forward and create a positive first impression for your prospective customers. There are other popular and free tools used for local searches that you should use to your advantage.
Business Listing Sites: