We’ve been working our way through Google Places learning how to claim a business listing. If you haven’t registered with Google or do not know where to start read Claim your Listing on Google Maps & Places: Part 1. In the following tutorial we will explain Places’ dashboard. This is the area where you can manage the details, content, photographs and video that will appear on your listing.
Step 5: Basic Information
When we last left off we were at ‘Step 4: Edit my business listing’. From there you will be taken to the Google Places dashboard (although there really isn’t a name for it). On this page, the first section will need basic information about your company. In the following screenshot take notice of the many empty fields. Now is the opportunity to use them to make your company more prominent on Google’s 7-Pack and Google Maps.
A view of a Google Places’ listing that has not been updated.
Tip 1: Company Name
You will need to enter in the full and official Company/Organization name. (Example: wisnet.com, LLC is our full official name.)
Tip 2: Address
The Address field is required and would be in the format you would use for an official U.S. mailing address. (Street Address, City/Town, Zip.) We recommend against using a post office box number.
Tip 3: Main Phone
The phone number is also required along with the area code. Use an 800 number as an alternative phone number. Click Add more phone numbers to add an 800 number, mobile phone, fax, and TTY/TDD. TTY and TDD are used for those who have hearing or speech difficulties.
To add more numbers click ‘Add more phone numbers’.
More options will apear including alternate phone, mobile, fax, and TTY/TDD.
This information is not only important for customers to find you through Google Maps and Places; the address and phone number play a big part in the verification of your business listing at the end of the setup process. – Jody | wisnet.com Team Member
Tip 4: Email address
In the next box, enter your email address. This leaves customers with an alternate way of contacting you especially if your office is closed.
Tip 5: Website
Don’t forget about this! A website is a must. If you don’t have a website at least get a Facebook Fan Page. When your website has been completed you can return to Google Places to update your listing.
Tip 6: Description
The Description field is very important since you can write a little about your business and stand out among other companies who offer similar services.
Tip 7: Category
You will be asked to enter up to five categories that describe the business. Google takes these into account when a customer performs a search, and will make suggestions as you type. It is required to have at least one Google-suggested category, but the rest can be of your own choosing. Make sure it fits the type of business or describes a service offered and you’ll be fine here.
Describe your business from Google’s suggested categories or create your own.
Step 6: Service area and location settings…
Choose if customers have to come to the business or if they can be served at their location. For example, ‘Yes’ would be chosen if you make house calls for fixing computer issues or have a landscaping service.
Narrow down your service area to reduce unnecessary calls.
Step 7: Hours of operation…
Next, choose to list hours of operation. These can be changed through the drop-down menus. One nice feature with Google Places is the ability to split a single day. If your lunch is around noon this can be entered so visitors know you will not be available.
If your hours are irregular you can skip this option.
Step 8: Payment options…
If you want to show methods of payments accepted, they can be chosen here.
Specify how customers can pay at your business.
Step 9: Photos…
You can add up to 10 photos to your Google Places profile. First we recommend the logo (branding is always good) followed by photos of products, company building, sales staff, and anything that would interest searchers to contact your company.
Per Google, ‘Add flair to your listing’ by uploading photographs of your products or storefront.
Step 10: Videos…
If there is a video you want to play for the visitors, upload it to Youtube.com and then copy and paste the URL here. Up to 5 videos can be added to the listing.
Add video from your YouTube Channel to Google Places.
Step 11: Additional Details…
Additional Details is a great section to create your very own custom fields. Use these spaces to include information such as awards, certifications, services offered, specialties, products; you name it!
Add additional details to your listing.
Step 12: Important Note*
Before you click ‘Submit’, take a look at the information on the right side of the screen. This is how your listing will be presented once it is published on Google Maps and Places. Feel free to go back and change anything you feel doesn’t look good or fix errors! Click Submit when you are ready.
This concludes the steps for the Google Places’ dashboard. If you thought this was the end, it isn’t. Grab another bagel and start an additional pot of coffee; there are a few more steps to go. Read Claiming Your Listing on Google Maps and Places: Part 3 to complete the tutorial.