Whilst big businesses may be able to call on a very large marketing budget, the great news for smaller businesses is that Google maps listings offer the perfect method of promoting your business in your local area and unlike Google Adwords, the service is free to use.
Understanding How It Works
Google Places (often referred to as Google + Business now) is a service which allows you to create a dedicated listing which will be displayed on Google Maps.
Business owners, who are listed with Google, can use their Google Places account to manage the information that they would like to display regarding their business.
Please Note – Considering the fact that Google usually blends the Google Places’ page and Maps along with the organic results for location specific searches, listing yourself in Google Places can be an excellent way to create brand awareness.
3 Step Guide To Getting Listed
Getting your business listed on Google Places simply could not be easier and by following our 3 step guide you can be live in just a few weeks.
- Step 1 – The first step is register with Google and then add all of the relevant business information including your business address, Tel. No., E-Mail address, opening hours, images etc.
- Step 2 – Once you have completed your listing, the next step is to verify your account. This is done via a postcard which will be sent to your business address (it normally arrives in 2 to 3 weeks).
- Step 3 – Once the verification postcard arrives, you can take the final step, simply log in to your account, add the code and your listing will go live within a few hours.
Perhaps one of the best parts of creating this account is the fact that Google do not charge you to use it!
The Importance For Small Businesses
Your business listing on Google Maps offers a highly effective method of making the important details about your business visible and searchable on the internet. You don’t even need to have a website in order to make the most of it. If you are a small business owner, you really cannot afford to overlook this excellent form of free advertising.
How To Make The Most of Your Listing
Now we have explained how the listings can be set-up, we want to help you make the most of your listing once it goes live.
- Choose Your Categories Wisely – Google provides a choice of categories to which you can add your listing and you are not limited to one. Simply type the first few letters of your services into the category box and select the most appropriate results which are provided.
- Add Images– You can make your listing more attractive by adding a number of photos/images to your account. You can add a logo and background image to your homepage and up to 10 images in the listing itself.
- More Than One Location? – If your business is based in more than one place (perhaps you have more than one branch?), make sure that each branch has a separate Google Places page with the location’s address and phone number.
- Encourage Reviews– We cannot over emphasize the importance of this tip – ask your customers to review and rate on your listing. Online reviews play a crucial role in helping to separate competing businesses and the chances are, the more positive reviews on your account, the higher your listing may rank and the more likely undecided customers may be to opt for your products and services.
If you have any further questions about the importance of Google Maps listings for small businesses and how they can be used to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Tel. No. 01883 372488.