Did you know that 1 in 5 Google searches is for a location?
You’ve probably already realized that print sources like the Yellow Pages are virtually obsolete. Today, almost everyone pulls out their smart phone or tablet to do a quick Google search instead. The good news is that if your company is already doing well at SEO, perhaps you’ll rank high for your industry and get some traffic.
However, there’s another way for your company to rank high without a massive SEO campaign, even if you’re brand new. By using Google Places, your business is much more likely to be found by local traffic.
Do you remember the last time you Googled a place (restaurant, store, dentist, etc.) and all those business listings showed up? A map pops up on the right-hand side with a marker showing the location, as well as hours of operation, ratings, reviews, and a quick description. That’s what Google Places does.
Let’s say you own an Indian Restaurant in Salt Lake City. What would it do for your business if every time someone Googled “Indian Food Salt Lake City” they found a mass of fantastic reviews, a near 5-star rating, and a marker showing your building’s exact location?
Let’s just say that in our experience working with SEO clients that Google Places tends to grab more traffic faster than any other free method we’ve come across. It only takes a few minutes to set up, doesn’t cost any money, and doesn’t have to be maintained. What have you got to lose?
Setting It Up
To get started, head on over to the Google Places start page (https://www.google.com/local/business/add?migratedId=09439303395348712930)
Now you can type in the name of your business and see if Google can find it. If not, select, “Let me create my business.” Fill out your information, and then decide if your business is one that will receive customers at an actual location or not. If the answer is no, select “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” and then uncheck the box that pops up. By selecting those options, it ensures that your company’s address won’t appear in the search results.
Google will then send a pin to the address that you added. Now, some of the real fun begins – customizing! Add all the relevant information you can to help beef up your listing and make it appealing to potential clients.
One last piece of advice: Google places a lot of emphasis on the reviews that you get. In fact, if you have more reviews (and more positive ones) than the competition, your listing will usually show up first. Remember that Google’s whole goal is to display helpful and relevant info – meaning lots of positive reviews will boost Google’s opinion of you.
By devising a simple strategy to get more reviews for your Google Places account, you can begin to rank higher almost immediately. Be sure to ask happy clients to leave you a review. You can even trade a free or discounted service for people who leave you a nice review.
Before you do anything else for your business, head on over and set up your Google Places account. Have you seen any results from yours? Let us know below!