Google is the most widely-used Internet search engine, and the recent addition of Google Places listings offers businesses an easy, no-cost option for increasing visibility and reaching more local customers.
When consumers search for local products and services through Google, the Google Places listings are prominently displayed on page one of the search results, designated by lettered entries. They look like this:
Did you know that 80% of searchers will stop after reaching this page? Most consumers will have found what they’re looking for in these initial results. Since there are no more than seven listings on the first Google Places page, your chances of capturing potential customers increase dramatically if you make it onto this list. In order to properly capitalize on this opportunity, though, it’s important to know how these listings work.
When Google was preparing to launch Google Places, they put a great deal of effort into creating a business directory that would be as comprehensive as Yellow Pages®. They tracked down and included a large number of business contact information. As a result, many businesses are in fact included in Google Places. However, many listings are merely default listings, compiled from any available information scattered about the Internet. Many of these default listings are out-of-date, incomplete, or simply inaccurate, including wrong phone numbers, incorrect addresses or no website URL at all, not to mention the lack of a keyword-rich business description and list of services offered.
Having a complete and detailed Google Places listing will not only increase your local visibility, it will can give you a good leg up on your competition. Compare these two listings:
incomplete Google Places profile
As a consumer, which one of these are you going to call?
Updating your business listing is easy. Do a Google search for your business including your city name, then click on the listing. On the profile page, look above the map (typically in the upper-right corner), and click on “Edit this Place,” or “Business Owner?”. This will take you through the process of claiming and updating your business profile, including the option to add photos, video and more. You can even learn how many people have viewed your listing. A small investment of time that could yield great returns!
Google Places is only one of thousands of sites across the Internet that store business profiles. To capitalize on more of these opportunities, contact us about our Big Splash Local service, where we can submit — and maintain — full profiles for your business on more than 120 directory and review sites. Call us at (281) 816-6932, or learn more at www.bigsplashlocal.com.