Google Places, working together with Google Maps, is one of the most popular methods for finding local businesses. Local search is becoming more and more commonplace and the ever-increasing use of mobile devices is making every business owner take notice. If you are not paying attention to your local listing on Google Places and Maps then now is the time to start. Stick around as we provide a brief tour.
Have a look at Google Maps….
Go to http://maps.google.com and search for a business in your area.
Screenshot of Google Maps when searching for hotels in Madison, WI.
Why It Works…
What makes Google Maps great is every time you do a search, you will also see a map that clearly pinpoints the business in relation to others. This can be helpful for finding anything from the closest Italian restaurant to seeing how many law firms are located within a 20 mile radius. Plus, you get a satellite view from the air along with a ground-level photo shot of your business so potential customers can better locate you when driving there. From Google Maps searchers can click the more info link. This will take them to Google Places.
When on Google Maps clicking ‘more info’ will take you to Google Places.
Have a Look at Google Places….
Each business can claim their free listing from Google Places. The listing options themselves are descriptive and informative, allowing for a logo or picture to be displayed in the listing search along with a description of the business or tagline. Having these can help your listing stand apart from those that don’t. Other big pluses include the ability to add directions to your business, hours and days of operation, services offered; even additional links to other sites where mentions of it appear!
Easily add descriptions about your services along with logos and photographs.
Reviews are important…
Google Places includes the ability for visitors to post customer reviews about your company. They can also assign a rating based on their level of satisfaction and leave feedback about their experience. This is a great way to see what your customers think while attracting future customers with good reviews. Plus, Google uses reviews to rank listings within Google’s 7-Pack.
Reviews are vital for good rankings within Google’s 7-Pack.
Let’s have a look at Google’s 7-Pack…
Sometimes when searching for a business, you may run into what is known as the Google 7-pack. It is a grouping of seven local businesses tied to a Google Map . It works by taking localized keywords, such as ‘Fond du Lac, WI’ and non-localized, like ‘realtors’ and finding the seven best local listings that fit those criteria. The 7-pack is the holy grail to aspire to since they are the most eye-catching for prospective customers. Read the article Search Engine Marketing – Organic, PPC, Local for more information.
Screenshot of Google’s 7-Pack when searching for salons in Madison, WI.
As you can see, Google Places and Maps can be an important and useful tool for helping potential customers find your business easily and effectively. You have the ability to stand out among the crowd with its powerful map features and descriptive categories while being in front of some of the web’s largest viewing demographics!