Google Places is a fantastic tool to use if you are interested in attracting more local customers to your business. This tool is free to use and offers great rewards for those who do. I recently wrote an article titled “Is your business listed on Google Places” you can view the article here. In that piece I discussed the benefits of using Google Places for local businesses. Some of the benefits listed were; Geo-targeting service area, built in analytics tool, customer interactivity and much more. Check out the article “Is your business listed on Google Places” here for more information. In this article I will be giving you a step by step guide on how to properly list your business on Google Places. So without further a due let’s get started. The first thing you will want to do is get yourself a Google account. I made this step fairly easy for you, please visit Create a Google account and fill out all of the questions you are asked. Accept the terms and conditions. You may want to read through it, but it is pretty standard dry legal stuff, up to you. Once you have clicked on the “I accept create my account” button an email will be sent to the email address you provided for verification purposes. Click on the verification link Google sends you, you will be sent to the Google Accounts page confirming your email address has been verified. You will be given an option to add your mobile phone number to your Google Account. You can if you like but I won’t touch on this subject in this article. You can always add your mobile number at a later date. Next click on “Click here to manage your account profile”, you will then be taken to the Google Accounts login page. Type in your email and your password to gain access your new Google account. Once inside you will have multiple choices, I suggest taking your time and familiarize yourself with the different options available. For now, Time to start building your brand new Google Places Business Listing <- (Done in a cheesy announcer voice) Click on Google Places link which is found under the “My Product” section on the left hand side of your screen. Next, Choose your country and type in your business phone number. Click on find business listing. Sometimes Google will be able to find your business contact information from your website, or yellowpages etc… if no listing is not found don’t worry about it, that is why I created this handy dandy guide. If have made it this far congrats! You are now ready add in the meat and potatoes to your listing. This is the easy part!
Step 1: Enter in all of your basic company information. A rule of thumb, when entering your company information make sure it is your actual business information and nothing more. Google hates it when people try to play games or trick the system. Here is an example, let say you run a pizza business and you named it Tony Pizza, pretty original right. You would then type in Tony Pizza under the section Company/Organization, not Tony Pizza the best in town voted #1. This would be a trick and might be considered keyword stuffing which Google doesn’t like.
Step 2: Service Area and Location Settings Here is where you choose to either geo-target your service area. This works best if your business does deliveries or home repair. Choose Yes if you want to Geo-Target your service area. Choose No if you…. Well don’t want to use Geo-targeting … Moving on!
Step 3: Hours of Operation. This is pretty self explanatory. Here you enter your operating business hours. If your hours split during a single day, such as 9-11am and 7-10pm there is a setting here that allows you to do just that!
Step 4: Payment Options Specify how customers can pay at your business. You have an array of choices, pick only the ones that apply to you.
Step 5: Photos Add some photos to your listing to spicy it up a bit. Photos can include your staff, you, the business, business activities, events etc…. Just remember to make it fun and engaging for your viewers.
Step 6: Videos Add video to your listing, this can be product videos, sales messages, instructional …. Etc
Step 7: Additional Details Here you can enter any other details you want customers to know about your business, for example Parking available : Yes or Brands carried: Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba etc…
Step 8: Submit Before you submit your listing, give it a once over and then hit submit. You will be asked to verify your listing. You have different options when verifying your listing. You can verify via phone, Google calls you or Via Postcard, Google sends you a post card that arrives within 2-3 weeks. Either way you choose to use isn’t important. What is important is you receive a verification pin number and you enter that verification number accurately on your listing. If you have followed the steps I listed above you should now be the proud owner of a brand new business listing! Take a breath, pat yourself on the back on a job well done! I knew you had it in ya! It may take Google a day or so before your listing is finalized to start appearing in their search results. Once you listing starts to show up on Google be sure to access your listings dashboard and optimize it further. That’s it, I hope this guide has been useful and you found some value from it. Please leave your comments below if you would like to add anything to what we discussed or if you any questions about your listing.