How To Use Google Places for Your Online Business

According to Google, 97% of consumers perform searches for local businesses online. If you run a brick and mortar store in conjunction with your online business (e.g., making website templates) then local search is vital to your success.

Since 73% of all online activity is related to local content, Google has created a tool that aims to help small business owners leverage this potential traffic. Maybe it’s time to start shifting your focus and resources from perfecting your paid search campaigns to one of the most valuable and free tools available, Google Places.

Google Places was launched in September 2009 and replaced the Google Local Business Center. This new service was introduced by Google as “a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it.”

What is Google Places for Business?

How To Use Google Places for Your Online BusinessGoogle Places for Business allows a local business to set up a listing that contains store information such as the operating hours, contact details, reviews, coupons, a map as well as promotional photos and videos.

The service is also capable of collecting information on real-time updates about the special offers and discounts you may be offering and then displays these across a range of Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

This means you could have your offers displayed on not only Google Web Search, but also on Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Mobile Search, Google voice directory search and Google+.

If optimized correctly, whenever someone types in a relevant query, your store’s listing and information pops up. This allows businesses, both online and offline, to expand their reach and attract thousands of additional consumers. The best part is that, unlike some of the other tools, setting up your listing on Google Places is easy and free.

How To Use Google Places for Your Business

1. Step 1 — Login

Depending on how much information is readily available about your business online, Google may already have a listing setup for your business. If not, you can easily set one up.

You can log in to Places by using one of your existing Google accounts such as your Gmail or Google AdWords email and password. When you’re in, you’ll see a page showing the businesses currently associated with your account or you can look up your business by its phone number.

2. Step 2 — Find Your Business

How To Use Google Places for Your BusinessWhether this is your first time using the service or one of your businesses is already on Google Places but you wish to add another, you can click on “Add new business.”

This opens up a page where you can perform a phone number lookup in order to find your business.

Enter the country and phone number of the company so that Google can search its database for any information it may already have on your business. If Google already has some details on the business, you’ll be able to view and edit these.

If Google finds no information, you can click on “Add new listing” and enter your store information, location (must be a real address), and how to find your business online (website).

You will also be able to promote your business by categorizing it and uploading photographs and videos of your store, your products, and even your employees. You want this to be engaging and informative for visitors.

3. Step 3 — Verification

Lastly, you need to verify that you are a person that is authorized to add and edit business information. This is done either by a verification code sent to the cell phone (SMS), an automated phone call, or by post whereby a postcard is sent to the business’s address.

You will need to enter this code in the area in which Google Places asks for it. Once verified, it may take some time for your listing to start showing up in the search results, but once it does, more consumers should be able to find your business.

The Benefits of Using Google Places

Every business is run from somewhere. If you run a physical operation in addition to your online business, optimizing it for local searches is very important. Here are just some of the many benefits of using Google Places for your business.

  • The Benefits of Using Google PlacesYou can set up a listing on Google Places for free, and it is quick and painless.
  • You can describe your business your way.
  • It is practical and easy to manage your listing.
  • This will increase foot traffic to your brick and mortar store or service.
  • This will also increase online traffic, for example, to your e-commerce store.

As a small business owner, you need to grab every opportunity offered to promote your business for free, even if you’re just selling website templates alongside some physical products. By using Google Places, you will definitely have an edge over your competitors.

Create a website in 60 minutes or less with Bookmark Ready to take your business online? Get started with Bookmark website builder today!