September 29, 2011

A short guide to Google Places for a business owner


Almost everything that you could possibly ask for can be found via Google. Just a couple of clicks and there you have it.  A full listing of pertinent websites, videos and pictures all relating to your search query will be displayed. For this very reason, many businesses are making use of the popularity and simplicity of use that comes with Google to grow their businesses. A very effective tool to serve this need, developed by Google, is aptly named Google Places. This service allows businesses to update their details which, with the aid of Google Maps, will give users the exact geo location of the business and the street view option for preview of what the business looks like.  The details can be tweaked to include information on specials that are currently on offer along with a coupon that the user can either print in order to redeem, or if using a mobile device, can produce a digital version.

This platform is ideal for the business owner as, if done correctly, it will ensure that their Google Places listing will be displayed on for users searching for that particular service in that geo location. The addition of photos and videos to your listing can increase the chances that your listing will be displayed. Try to be as descriptive as possible with regards to the details of your business – list your business hours along with a description of the services that you offer, include a link to your website so that the user can browse your products for more details.

Google offers the small business an easy and quick method to reach millions of users with not only Google Places, but also the myriad of other unique tools to assist the budding business person. Google Apps (a suite of web-based communication tools), Google Analytics and Google Adwords will all undoubtedly save the business person a significant amount of money with regards to their marketing budget.

A few steps to follow:

  1. Sign in to Google using your Gmail account – if you don’t have one create one here.
  2. After setting up your Gmail account navigate to and sign up for a business listing.
  3. Complete the basic information (ensure that the company name, street address and telephone numbers are exactly as they appear offline). Ensure that you enter your local telephone number.
  4. Include a link back to your website. If you don’t have one, this can be added at a later stage.
  5. The most important field is the description. This is where you can use targeted keywords in describing your business,
  6. Include your hours of operation as this is prudent information to your clients, along with the various payment options that your offer.
  7. Include photos of your most popular products (max 10). Label these photos with the corresponding name (ie HP Laptop Computer.jpg instead of img12346.jpg).
  8. Another option would be to include a couple of videos to your listing via YouTube.

Even though you have done all these steps and followed the guidelines to the letter, you are still not guaranteed that you will get listed on Google Places.  The benefits of the listing by far outweigh the possibilities of your listing not being approved.

About the Author

Nathan has been honing his SEO skills over the last few years and is on his way to achieving true SEO ninja status. He has already helped his clients achieve their goals in regard to ranking on Google


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