December 2, 2011
Google Places Listings: What and Why?
What Is It?
A Google Places listing is a free, brief profile of your business and its location. This listing may appear for geographically specific searches in the standard Google search results and the Maps search results.
To this profile you can add your business location, opening hours, photos, videos and even your latest special offers. There is also the possibility for your customers to leave reviews and rate your business. This may serve to be a very positive display of your level of service and could help attract even more business to you.
Why not? These listings are a free and effective way of boosting your online presence, regardless of whether or not you have an actual shop or office, as profiles can be made using a mailing address and simply displaying your ‘service area’ instead. Even if your website is nowhere to be seen in the search results for a certain localised search, that doesn’t mean your Places listing won’t show. The more information you provide and the more reviews you receive will help to push it into as high a position as possible.
Furthermore, once you have created your Google Places listing, you will be able to monitor and analyse how many times it has appeared in searches, how many people clicked on it and what keywords they had searched for. This can be a very valuable tool in honing your online strategy and informing business decisions.
With an increasing number of people searching for local businesses on mobile phones, local listings are becoming increasingly important for searchers. Therefore, a noticeable increase in the number of Places listings appearing the Google search results for localised searches is taking place. With smartphone sales booming, this will most likely only continue. So, alongside search engine optimisation, now is a great time to get your Places listing posted, updated and optimised, so that the customers are coming through your door, rather than going elsewhere.