We’re all familiar with Google Search. Most of us use it every day to find information and data to help us with our jobs and make our daily easier or perhaps, just more entertaining. However, Google is not only a search engine. It also has a range of tools that provide marketers with social networking and content creation opportunities. Google Places is one of these lesser known tools, but used correctly, it can help your swimming pool waterfall business get found on local search results on both Google Search and Google Maps. In fact, you’ve probably unknowingly used it yourself to find a local restaurant or dentist. So, what exactly us Google Places and why is it important?
Google Places is a free service that lets you list useful information about your business for potential customers to see. It’s sort of like the Web 2.0 version of a Yellow Pages ad, but better. With Google Places you can:
- Gain more visibility for your business
- Attract more traffic to your web site
- Level the playing field and appear higher up in search results
You probably already have a Google Places listing and don’t even know it. Google collects data from multiple sources, some of which may be outdated or incorrect and aggregates these into a Places listing. Google Places is a great listing for local businesses and getting to the first indexed page is of huge benefit to any business as it will bring in more customers and clients. When you apply for a page in these Google Places, you should make sure that you provide as much information as possible about your business, which means filling in all the optional text fields. You should also upload pictures and videos of swimming pool waterfalls and outdoor living areas you’ve done as the more information you have on your pages, it would appear that the higher you will be ranked in the Place index.
Google Places is rather like a Yellow Pages directory where people look to find products and services that they need and which are specific to a local area. Because of the growth of mobile marketing, the number of mobile devices and an ever-increasing desire on the part of the consumer for a more personalized customer interaction with a business and advertiser, the more important Google Places becomes for a local business owner.
A growing number of searches now concentrate on finding local businesses and services, so your business needs to be in those Google Places so that you have as much Internet exposure to your potential client or customer-base as possible. Because Places listings are increasingly finding their way onto the first pages of a Google search, your business needs to be prominent in order for it to beat the competition.
Looking at businesses that have been highly ranked on Places pages, you can’t help but notice that they have been reviewed by customers. The more and better the reviews, it appears that the higher the business is ranked. This has not been stated by Google, but is simply the information for which there is clear evidence in the Places rankings.
As a local business owner you have a client/customer base and you need to ask these people to review your products, business or services. You could have flyers made and give these out at the cash register, requesting satisfied customers to write a review for you.
In 2010 local businesses could choose to ignore Google places, but it would be folly to neglect to use them now. As more searches online are to find local providers of whatever the customer/client wants, it is important for local businesses to have a profile on the Places pages so that prospective customers know where to find what they are looking for. A profile which includes visual images be they photos or videos, will have a higher place on the index pages for that category of service or sales.
So, if you haven’t done so already, create and/or claim your Google Places listing as soon as possible. When creating or updating your listing be sure to do the following:
- Optimize the listing by using key words that are directly relevant to the products and services you provide.
- Add images, photos, and videos to create a rich and robust listing. The extra information will help Google match your listing to more searches and ultimately increase the number of views you receive.
Here a few helpful links on setting up your page: