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If a customer wants to know about a company, the first place they turn to is Google. Many businesses, large and small, know that customers will normally turn to Google, and as such have started using the various Google apps to drive their online marketing. One of the most under utilized apps is Google Places.
Places, introduced in 2009, is actually two different services. The first service, is essentially a mini website, within Google, for local businesses with contact information, reviews, pictures, nearest transit stop, street view, and so on. Google realized that when people want to find a business or service they will typically type in the service and their location – e.g., if a person is in New York, and wants to find a computer repair center, they will typically enter something like: Computer Repair New York. Using Places, businesses in a particular area will be ranked to appear higher in search results if the user is in the same general area. While the results show up on search results, Places is actually a part of Google Maps. If a business has signed up, and provided their info, it will also show up as a pinpoint when a relevant search query is entered in Google Maps. The best part of Places is that it is free for businesses.
The second service is the Places App. This app is for everybody and is similar to popular local search services like Foursquare. You enter a search in Places and, based on your location and search, results will show up with the closest result first. People can call, email, review, and even suggest businesses. Places is available in Google search results, Google Maps and as a standalone App for smartphones.
How Do I Get My Business On Places?
If you are interested in getting your business on to Places you will need to get a few things ready before you apply:
After you have your information ready, head over to the Places website and click Get Started. From there it’s as simple as following the on-screen prompts, and then waiting for Google to put your Places page online. Once it’s online you will be able to update information in real time, and be on the way to generating more customers.
Watch Out! Common Mistakes Made by Businesses
Here are four common mistakes business often make when establishing their Places profile:
Places, if leveraged right, is a great way to help boost your online presence and marketing potential. If you would like to learn more about Google Places or any other Google App, please get in touch.
Published on 26th March 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.