February 7, 2012: Google Places isn’t a new concept, but considering the majority of our clients at KoMarketing came to us with either no listing or an outdated listing, I thought it may be a good time to touch on some of the benefits of creating, maintaining and optimizing a Google Places business listing. Google Places gives businesses an opportunity to set up a business listing that can be utilized for Google Maps and in local web search results. Here are five reasons why I recommend getting a Google Places business listing established and keeping it up to date.
Visibility in Local Web Search Results
The reason we are able to come up in this web search result is because we are registered as a “Marketing Consultant” business in Google Places, with a Waltham address. This particular search query won’t produce a significant amount of traffic for KoMarketing, but it’s free and it took maybe 15 minutes to set up, so the few hits we may get from it are worth it. Google Places offers the opportunity to generate local web search visibility for the products or services your business offers. Think of some terms you would like your business to rank for locally and include them in the description and categories of your Google Places listing.
Visibility on Google Map Searches
Being registered with Google Places allows KoMarketing to generate visibility in Google Maps for keywords related to our business. In this case, we included “Marketing Consultant” as a category and “Internet Marketing Agency” in our description, so when someone goes to Google Maps and types in a search query for Internet Marketing Agency in our area, we have a presence.
Business listings from Google Places are referenced in Google Maps both on mobile searches and in GPS mobile phone applications. Registering with Google Places may give you a Google Maps Pin when mobile users search for your product or service through their mobile devices. According to an article from Bryson Meunier, a mobile search columnist for Search Engine Land, “local results are more likely in mobile, so Google Places listings sometimes appear higher in mobile results than they do in desktop.”
SEO Friendly Link
Word on the street is that links are a considerable search engine ranking factor. Register with Google Places and get a new link – it may generate some referral traffic and add to your websites link portfolio.
Verified with Google
In order to create a listing on Google Places the business has to be verified by phone or mail. This verification process should aid in legitimizing the business and website with Google. Any opportunity to gain credibility with Google seems valuable to me, especially if SEO is a priority for your business.
I hope now you see… why I think Google Places is a cool place to be (ha!). If you are looking for more instructions on how to get started, Google Places Get Started is quite user friendly/self-explanatory.
I would recommend using a universal or impersonal email address for the registration (unless you own the business) in case updates need to be made in the future. Also, be sure to fill in as many of the listing fields as possible including photos and videos, and encourage your clients and customers to submit reviews – it may play a factor in how high your pin is ranked. Here are some additional resouces for optimizing a Google Places listing:
- Mashable Topics – Google Places
- Win More Business with Google Places
- Google Forum – Optimizing Your Places Page
- Optimizing Your Google Places Page
- Up Close with Google Places Pages
Google Places is quick, easy, free, and sustainable, so get on it – and please feel free to share any additional references we missed in the comments field!