Google Places is a place to showcase your local business. It’s especially important if you don’t have your own website. You can add photos, videos, descriptions of your business, contact information, special offers, a map for your clients to locate you, and company operating hours. A well written and optimized Google Places Page will also list you higher in Google’s local listings on the internet.
Google Places is a free service supplied by Google to give your company a presence on the internet. As a local business owner you can claim your listing and start adding your content. It’s best that you claim it sooner rather than later to provide more accurate information about your company than can be gleaned from 3rd party sources.
As much 70% of all on-line activity is associated with local search, according to Google and over 80% of these searches are followed up with either a telephone call or perhaps a visit to your business. If your company isn’t visible online you’ll miss out on all these calls and visitors.
Benefits of Google Places includes: a free listing for your company with all the pertinent information your potential customers need to know, a place to list your special offers, improved SEO by providing a site for your business online, and a place for consumers to write a review about your business. Reviews are increasingly important to Google and many potential customers read reviews before deciding to even contact your company these days.
Are there any disadvantages to a Google Places Page?
Possible disadvantages of a Google Places page include possible negative reviews being listed about your business and the time consuming nature of updating your Google Places listing in a large organization.
Guidelines for creating an effective Google Places page
1) Add a page for each location of one’s business
For businesses with multiple offices its key to create a different Places page for each location. This will help your local SEO
2) Use a local phone number
Google wants to provide local businesses for its local customers so a national or mobile number may be detrimental to your listing
3) Pick the right keywords
If you’re not sure about what words to use find out with Google’s Keyword Tool
4) Use keywords inside the business description
To improve your SEO use your keywords inside the business description but not inside your company name unless its part of the actual name of the business.
5) Choose the right category
choose the most appropriate category for your business to be found in the right search for what you have to offer
6) Complete all sections of the Google Places page
The more content you provide the better.
7) Encourage your clients to write fantastic evaluations online specially making use of a Gmail account
Being a Google product Google favours the use of its other products so the most relevant reviews are those created within a Google profile with a Gmail account.