It may surprise you the many small businesses do not understand that they can get free advertising through Google Places for Business. Google is always looking to expand it’s reach in local search. Google Places is one method that allows businesses/companies to create a free listing that will benefit them in the search engine results.
Is this a benefit to you? Definitely, yes. This allows you to advertise your business on Google absolutely free of charge. This not only helps your local business get found through different search engines; this can also help you get more leads in your traffic. This in turn results in more customers and conversions over time.
Are you ready for some free advertising on Google?
Consider this example:
When you search “Hotel Springfield Missouri”, The Double Tree Hotel is the number one ranking result in Google places. When hovering over this result, you will see all the pertinent information displayed on the right that is related to your sought out Google Places search.
Included are reviews, hotel information, and pictures of the hotel and the surrounding area. Not too bad for being free is it?
What You Will Need For Google Places Advertisement – Listed below
- A relative description of your business
- Your current phone number, business address, or any other contact information you want to advertise
- I high-quality logo or image that represents you or your business (for example: some people use pictures of their storefront, inner office, or restaurant)
Note: For best results, logo images need to be in a square dimension. I.E. 200×200.
- Coupons and special offers you can advertise (Google will also let you use a coupon for FREE if you would like)
From within editing your listing, you will want to include any relevant information about your business, and what you think will attract people/customers to your company. To set up a Google places listing simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Set Up Account
Visit http://www.google.com/places/ to set up your free Google Places business listing. Next, you want to click the ‘get started now’ button.
Step 2: Fill Out All Information Correctly
Google places will need to be filled out based on percentages. It’s best to fill out 100% of your businesses information. As you fill out your information, Google will then place a “live” version of your listing on the right hand side, so you can see it as others would see it in the search results. As you complete your information, Google will generate the advertisement on the right along with your geographical mapped image. It’s best keep the description short into the point, along with capturing your main ideas and concepts for your business or services.
It’s best to make sure that you include your phone number and email address which will enable people who are interested to contact you in order to learn more about your products and/or services. The volume of people that can see this listing could be large, so make sure that your current contact information is kept up-to-date, and checked regularly for accuracy in order for your potential customers/clients interests.
Step 3: Specify The Location Your Services Are Provided
Does your business provide services at the customer’s location(s)? Or do you service your clients/customers at your business location? Check the box yes or no accordingly.
If you service your clientele at their location, you will be allowed to provide the service area radius. You can also then list area served by city and state.
Step 4: Indicate Your Operational Hours
Another aspect of a superior Google Places advertisement is that your hours of operation are correct. Often times people are searching for your business, they’re looking to see when you are open, as Google allows you to include this directly into your business listing.
Step 5: Specify Your Payment Options
If you sell your products or services online directly to customers, you will have the option to enter your specified payment options. You will be able to include the following payment types:
Step 6: Include Engaging Visuals
You are allowed to include up to five YouTube videos from specified URLs. That’s right, five. These could be videos that you’ve had produced for your product/services, or Creative Commons videos that simply relate to your product. Including engaging videos can be the best way to capture audience’s attention.
Step 7: Inputting Additional Information
Including additional information is optional, but very important for your potential customers. The more information you include, the more informed and prepared your viewers will be if and when they decide to visit your business. These details can include geographical information about your business if it’s hard to find, to information about specific products or product lines that you carry. These can also be service related products.
Step 8: Validate Location
Here you will be able to enter your country and phone number. Keep in mind that you will need to connect this to a valid number in order to authenticate your businesses account. In some cases, you will need to receive a letter from Google (with a pin number), which you will then enter into your listing upon receiving it in the mail (up to two weeks). Your Google Places account will then be connected to your Google account once validation occurs. The reason for the validation is to avoid fake listings.
Well done. Now you can enjoy your FREE listing courtesy of Google! If you are a small business owner and an SEO/Marketing plan is not within your budget, this could be one free step in the right direction for you. However if you’re in the market for such a plan, you can consult us and we will get started for you right away.