Experience level: [rating=2]
If you own a business with a physical location, then you need to consider submitting it to Google Places.
What is Google Places?
Google Places is the local listing results of Google. Businesses that implement Google Places appear high up in the search results and on maps of Google when users look for local information. Creating a listing is free, so there is really no reason not to add your business to Google Places.
Adding Your Business to Google Places
Adding your business to Google Places is pretty straightforward. To submit your business to Google Places, start by heading over to Places for Business webpage: https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/ Completing the process is pretty straightforward, but you want to make sure you optimize your information properly. Google provides tips on how to do just this: https://support.google.com/places/answer/148047?hl=en There is much to choosing the right photos and text to describe your business. You should give it adequate consideration. If you can afford it, hire an SEO professional to assist. A less expensive alternative can be to ask your web designer for help. Finally, make sure to use a spell-checker!
A Typical Listing
To see what places looks like in a search, go to Google and search on “wildwood insurance”, or just click here: https://www.google.com/search?q=wildwood+rentals Scroll down past the ads and you’ll see a group of listings that looks something like this: All other organic listings (the ones that aren’t paid for) show up below you! SEO (search engine optimization) can cost $500 to $1000 or more per month per site, and you just put yourself on the first page of Google for a hour’s worth of work. Congratulations!
Alternative Places Listing Style
For some business (like hotels and motels), Google has replaced the default places listing with a banner that looks like this (search on wildwood motel): Notice not every Wildwood motel in the banner above has stars under its photo. It appears that you need a minimum number of ratings in order for Google to display the stars. Judging from the above, you’ll need 5 or 6 ratings before you will see the stars. Either way, if you are in Google Places as a Wildwood motel, it will show up at the very top of the page. Keep in mind Google rotates the businesses, so if you have a lot of competition, you won’t show up each time. Interestingly, wildwood hotel doesn’t show up with any type of places listing. I’m not sure if this is because there hasn’t been enough businesses to sign up, or because of some other voodoo that Google does so well (apologies to Cole Porter).
This is one quick but effective action you can perform to help your business’s listing on Google. There is much, much more you can do (and we can help you to do it)! If you would like help in implementing your Google Places entry, as well as assistance with similar list entries to 40+ high-volume lists, give us a call or drop us an email.