Google Places – Don’t Hide From Your Customers
Google has a LOT of free tools to help you market your business. One of these is called Google Places (click on Business Owner to get started). It’s an online directory where you can list your business (think Yellow Pages) for FREE! By listing your business with Google Places, you will:
- show up in Google Maps with your information in a “bubble”
- have an option in Maps to view “More Information”
- increase your visibility to Google with the information you want them to see
- be fed statistics that will help you to better target your marketing efforts
- gain another inbound link to your website, which will help you rank higher in search engine results
Below, you will see a screenshot of Dramatic Design’s listing on Google Maps. (Click to enlarge any of the images below.) URL: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&georestrict=input_srcid:f619ea71e3881350&ie=UTF8&view=map&cid=1830561358437269488&q=Dramatic+Design&iwloc=A&ved=0CEsQpQY&sa=X&ei=UoTiTKX9HJj8yAWVyay6Dw
Here is a screenshot of the Profile page created for Dramatic Design on Google Places. It’s really another way to promote your business and the inbound link from Google’s servers is a high-quality link, which is valued higher than the average inbound link. You can add whatever images and links you like to your profile and your customers can add reviews about your business, too. The URL for this page is: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&georestrict=input_srcid:f619ea71e3881350
And, below is a screenshot of the administrative area of Dramatic Design’s Google Places account. You will see, when you enlarge the image, all of the areas you can add and change on the right side and the statistics on the left. In the upper-right corner, you will also see that you can add status lines, like you do on Facebook or Twitter. Google also allows you to add coupons for your potential customers that will show up on your profile page at no cost!
I found it very interesting to see that Dramatic Design was returned as a result 36 times for the term “business development” in search results. This is something that I do help with, but it’s never been a focus area–perhaps it should be? Now, are these results as good as I would like? No, but I’ve gained the eyes of 111 searchers who may not have found me without being listed in Google Places. In marketing, every time you have eyes looking at your search result, that’s a good thing!
Have you set up your Google Places profile yet? If not, go to http://places.google.com and claim your business listing! Once you’ve set it up, I would love to take a peek! List the URL of your profile in the comments!