Now that smartphones and tablet computers are everywhere, your business needs to be everywhere, including Google Places. What is Google Places, and why is it important to be proactive with your Google Places listing?
Google Places makes your brick-and-mortar business or office show up on a potential customer’s screen when they search using Google or Google Maps. If the potential customer is mobile, using a smartphone or tablet to map their current location, they will see exactly where they are relative to your business or office. Moreover, a well-crafted Google Places listing will tell them everything they need to know about your enterprise.
Imagine a business person is visiting your city and staying downtown. Selecting a restaurant for the evening used to be a hit-or-miss matter of going through the hotel’s information folder and/or the yellow pages. No more. A smartphone user can, with a few taps on the screen, pull up a map of the current vicinity, pick a type of restaurant or cuisine, and see exactly what the nearby establishments have to offer. And once the decision has been made, the smartphone can turn into a hand-held GPS to guide the customer right to the door.
Google Places lets you customize your business listing with images, product or brand lists, even specials and coupons. So when a potential customer views your listing, your marketing messages helps drive business to you and not your competitor. The more complete and attractive your listing, the more reasons a customer has to choose your business!
Best of all is the cost — it’s free! Google Places does not charge for your listing. (Google does, however, have a paid service called Adwords that includes locally-targeted ads.)
To get started with creating your customized Google Places listing:
- Go to the Google Places for Business web page at: http://www.google.com/placesforbusiness
- Log in to Google or create a new account. If your business has a gmail account, you can use it to log in. If you use another email provider, you will have to create a Google account.
- Follow the directions to “claim” you Google Places listing and customize it just the way you want it. If your business doesn’t automatically have a Google Places page, you can create it for free.
That’s it! Now potential customers will be able to find your bricks-and-mortar establishment with ease.
Note from the Editor: For more information on how to go mobile with your business including mobile marketing and mobile payment processing strategies email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for a free strategy session.