Google Places 101: Create your first listing
In the age of crazy evolution in the technology world, the brick and mortar stores are generally the biggest losers. Apart from the fact that they get replaced by easy accessible online stores, they are sure to find a sure drop in their audience. The regulars find easier substitutes and new customers are hardly able to find these existing enterprises. And if people can’t look you up or find you; you basically fade from people’s memory. We won’t want that, would we now? To combat this situation where practical stores are losing their identity and existence; Google Places is the savior. People always “google” stuff now, there is no asking or filing queries or maps or referring to sources. It is all about searching on the net because the internet always has answers. That is a fact we need to turn in our favor. If someone is looking for a business spot, you would want to pt your name on the list that everyone accesses. The Google Places promises that list and you should utilize it efficiently.
With growing love for search engine optimization businessmen are progressively taking advantage of this potential traffic with Google Places. In this post we’ll look at how to create your free Google Places listing so your business can start getting more visitors both in-store and online.
What is Google Places for Business?
Technically, Google Places for Business allows any local business to create your virtual identity for search engines to access when people look you up. It displays store information like contact details (including a link to your website), a map, photos, hours, videos, coupons, reviews and more. Basically like a page that says all about you that anyone might be interested in. Not only these boring information stats, but it also takes up any special offers you might have and displays them when people venture in your business online. Your store’s listing and information is then shown in response to relevant queries, potentially reaching tens of thousands of prospective customers if optimized correctly. It’s like an advising page (for prospective customers cum net surfers) that glorifies your business for the world.
Getting Started with Google Places for Business
The first thing to know is that Google may already have a listing for your business. Don’t be so surprised! The search engine gets information from different sources to construct its millions of Places pages. In case you’re not in them, well don’t get so sad because you can create a new business listing. In either case the process is more or less the same.
Know where to go
Since it is Google Places, you can log in using existing Google account credentials (like your Gmail or AdWords accounts). Just know this that the google account you use will now be associated with your business. So better be careful with what id you want out there to represent your business.
You’ll be asked to lookup your business via phone number. Verify your business and then move to the next detailing part. In case you access your business page the next time, you should see a page which says: Businesses currently associated with your account. You can continue from there now.
Who am I?
Now there are two possibilities. Either Google already has information about your store or it doesn’t. If you exist in the database, simply edit your details and make sure they are accurate.
If Google cannot find any information about your business, you’ll have the option to click “Add new listing”. Be specific in whatever you write in the details, since they will be your message to anyone who is interested in your business. Don’t be over imaginative and just give in the basic information about your store, its location, and how to find it online. See, simple as that!
Google Places also gives you the option to register more than one businesses. Just click the “Add new business” link. This will again open the phone number lookup page. After which the procedure is basically the same. You will have to enter your country and your business phone number, and Google will check to see if it already has information about your business and so on.
Whether you’re updating existing Places information or entering it for the first time, you’ll also have an opportunity to categorize your business, input hours of operation, describe payment options, add photographs of your storefront, products, or employees, include video, and more. Use these optios judiciously because it is stuff like this that people pay attention to when they come across your business. And you must gain whenever and wherever you can!
Google takes no jokes.
Okay so you registered and everything, but how do you prove your genuineness to Google Places? There are actually three ways to verify that you are, in fact, a person authorized to update or add business information. You can receive a verification code via automated phone call, as a text (SMS) message, or in the form of a postcard sent to the business address (the last option doesn’t make much sense but play along, shall we).
Once your listing has been verified, it may still take a little while for your Google Places for Business listing to show up in search results, but its still better than the zero publicity you had before Google Places! So be happy and get it rolling with Google Places!