10 Advantages of Google Places
As you become familiar with Google Places and update your listings on a regular basis, you’ll discover hundreds of advantages for advertising your business through this free service. Listed below are 10 advantages worth mentioning.
1. Online advertising is the way of the future, and it will soon replace paper phone directory listings that cost thousands of dollars per year.
2. Google Places is free.
3. Your business listing appears on the first page of Google.
4. You can offer discounts and coupons for one day, one week, or one month.
5. Your website, physical mailing address, and your phone number are displayed in your listing, which allows customers to find you more quickly and to get the information they need.
6. Mobile phone users can find your business listing immediately, and they don’t need a computer to do it.
7. You will receive more traffic and new customers.
8. You don’t need a physical retail or warehouse location to get accepted into Google Places. (This report will show you how to get approved.)
9. Within eight weeks, rather than eight months or eight years, your free advertising with Google Places will bring you more targeted customers faster than traditional organic methods.
10. Finally, and the most important to your financial goals, is that because it is so easy for customers to find your business listing, you will make more money than you did before your business was listed with Google Places.
NOTE: Google Places, like every business, has their rules and policies that they expect everyone to abide by. In that regard, Google does not approve business listings in every country in the world.
Therefore, before you attempt to create a business listing for yourself or your clients, it’s important that you find out if Google Places is available in your area.
This mapping tool from Google will show you if your country is on the list for getting into Google Places. Here is the link:
REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING A BASIC LISTING
In the simplest terms, to create a basic listing, Google requires the following information.
1. Business name
2. URL address
3. Phone number
4. Business description
5. Business hours
6. Business category
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Prior to creating your listing, you should be well armed with three categories of research information. Once you have this written down, the rest of the process will go much faster.
The three research categories are:
Keywords, Competing businesses, and Sponsored ad results.
Keywords and keyword phrases are the words that someone would type into a search engine to find a product, service, or company.
Step One: There are many free keyword tools available to you online, including the external Google keyword tool. But the fastest way to do your research is to open your favorite browser and type in the words that you would use when searching for a product or service that your business sells.
Step Two: Here’s the important part, so pay attention. Not every keyword or keyword phrase will generate a Google Places listing. Your job is to type relevant keywords into a search engine, and then see which keywords generate a Google Places listing. You may very well have to do this a number of times until a 3-or 7-block listing appears.
Step Three: Be sure to write down the keywords and keyword phrases that generated Google Places listings. You will need those keywords when you create your business listing.
Since Google Places helps people find your business through local search results on both Google Search and Google Maps, it’s important to know who your competition is so that you can stay ahead of them.
Here are two quick methods for staying ahead of your competition:
1. When viewing the first page results on Google for a specific keyword, it’s important that you look at the hyper linked titles and descriptions of those businesses that were not listed in Google Places. Click the link and look at the home page of their website. In the example of fish and chips, that keyword phrase is most likely used in the title, a description, and several times in the content of their home page. Compare what you see after viewing the top 10 organic listings with the information contained on your website. Although there are more factors involved in getting to the first page of Google, you will now have an understanding of those businesses that are competing with you.
2. Now what you need to do is to look at the top five listings in Google Places. Click on each link and look at the information that is provided to someone searching for “fish and chips.” You might want to print out each of those pages as a reference for when you’re creating your Google Places listing. The reason this is important is because those companies have achieved top positions in Google Places. You can learn from their listings. Study them; see what you can add to your listing later on. But whatever you do, do not cut-and-paste the exact words that another business has used to achieve their ranking in Google Places. That’s called plagiarism and it’s a punishable crime.
If sponsored ads appear on the first page of Google for the keyword that you have selected, read their ads, and see if they’re using the same keywords that you use for your business.
Sponsored ads indicate that business owners are spending money to place those ads for that chosen keyword. If you don’t see any sponsored ads, it might be a good way for you to advertise your business in the future.
However, that’s a more advanced topic than this report will cover. Just keep it in the back of your mind.
You can find out who your competition is if one company has a sponsored ad, along with a first page organic listing, and they’re also included in the Google Places listing on the first page.
Study their listings. Visit their websites. See what you can learn and apply it to your own website, or your Google Places listing. The research and information that you uncover by performing these three processes will launch your business ahead of many other companies.
It will give you better placement, and doing a little upfront research will mean less work for you in the future to maintain your high ranking with Google Places.
HOW TO GET ON GOOGLE PLACES
Let’s get started. Follow these steps to add a business to your Places account.
The first thing you’ll need to create is a Google account. Be selective about which Google account you want to use. If a friend, co-worker, employee, or outsourcing person will have access to your account to update it, you probably don’t want to use a Google account that contains your personal data. If that’s the case, then just open up a new Google Gmail account.
1. To create a new Google Gmail account, type this URL into your browser: http://www.google.com/gmail and then click the “Create an account” button.
2. After you have set up the Gmail account, point your browser to this link: http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter to get started and then sign in with your Google account email address and password.
3. Next, you’re presented with two choices as shown in the following screenshot. You can add your business by clicking the link on the left, “Add a new business” or you can click the “List your business” link located on the right side of the page. Both links will take you to the same destination page.