Give Your Google Places Some of Your Love!
97% Of Your Customers Use Online Media to Shop Locally!
According to BIA/Kelsey’s newest study on local search, if you’re a local brick and mortar business 97% of your customers use online media when they are researching new products or services in their local area (www.kelseygroup.com).
“The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local commercial activity,” said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. “The data suggest we’re at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.”
Several years ago Google began harnessing the power of local search when it launched its Local Business Center where any local business establishment can sign up and get a free listing.
Google has recently done a major overhaul adding new features and services and re-launched under the name of “Google Places”.
There are several businesses that we consult with where the majority of their business is through their optimized Google Local listing. One prior student of our SEO workshop even relates “if it wasn’t for our Google listing, I would have been forced to shut my doors months ago”.
So how do you create your Google Places account?
As with all things Google you will first need to set up an account, so let’s start there and type in “Google Places” into Google.
After signing in, if your business is already listed you will need to “claim” it or if it is not listed you will need to start entering your information.
There is a verification process that you must go through to prove that you’re the owner of the business, either by post card sent to you in the mail or a phone call. Once this is done your listing will go live.
Next you will want to optimize your local listing by uploading photos, posting updates, listing your operating hours, posting videos, adding coupons adding a link to your website.
The bottom line, Show your Google Places account some love! If you don’t, why should Google?
Do you have any other tips that you would like to share about getting your local business listed in Google Places? If so use the comment area below.
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