14 reasons Google Places rocks for small business!

Google Places offers some great features to help small business be more visible and more accessible in local searches.

Location-based searches display these listings near the top of Google search results. This gives cafes, restaurants, retailers and other local service businesses a greater chance of being seen. You don’t even need a website to list your business – simply an address.

What’s so great about Google Places?

  1. It’s free! …you’ve got to be happy about that.
  2. Greater visibility in Google search results. Local searches dish out Google Places on the first page, with a map marked with location pins referring to the listings.
  3. You get your own Google Places page. Clicking on the “Place page” or “XX Google reviews” links in the search results (see below) will take you to a detailed page.
    placessearchWe look at the detailed page in the next few points…
  4. Full contact details right there on Google. Interested buyers can find you right there before you lose them.
    googleplace-460
  5. Business hours displayed. Customers know when you will be open if they decide to visit your premises.
  6. Service Area option. If you have, for example, a home business and you go to your customers rather than they come to you, you can indicate a service area instead of your address.
  7. Google map displayed on your own page. This offers access to all the usual Google Maps features including zooming in or out and getting directions.
  8. Logo or shop image – in clear visibility next to your contact details.
  9. Add images and videos. Any supporting images or videos you have relating to your business can easily be added to impress.
  10. Ratings and Reviews. Build your reputation and look good to Google users at a glance with feedback from your customers appearing right there on your Google Places page.
  11. Easy editing and maintenance. Need to change your details? Simply login and change.
  12. Multiple addresses under one Google Places account. If you have a number of stores, they can all be listed on the one page, and displayed on your page’s Google map.
  13. googleplacescouponsCoupon facility. Add offers to your Google Maps listing for free. Simply enter a few lines of text for your offer, set an expiration date, and which of your locations accept the offer.
  14. Analytics. The Google Places dashboard gives you access to charts showing Impressions, clicks (Actions) and top search queries that listed your business.

There seems no reason not to take advantage of this great service. Google offers you the ability to have a detailed listing that can rank high in local searches for free.

For tips on boosting your Google Places ranking, refer to Eric Hammer’s article, “How to Rank High in Google Places”.

Who’s getting results?

Take a look at this video showcasing small businesses that have taken advantage of Google Places:

Do you have a Google Places listing? What kind of results have you seen from it? Share your answers in the comments box below.

 

10 Comments

  1. Lauren McMullen September 14, 2011 Reply

    I love Google places because it is easy to connect with a business owner anywhere in the world. Last week I needed to send flowers for my brother-in-laws mother’s funeral in another city. I was able to go to Google and search for a florist in the city and call the shop. I asked for the owner and ordered my flowers and then told her I had found her through Google places. She was thrilled when I told her I would love to giver her an incredible testimonial. The flower arrangement she created for the funeral were the talk of the day! It was a win win for everyone. I was thrilled with my arrangement so I gave her an amazing testimonial!

    • Erum Gosh September 15, 2011 Reply

      Lauren, after reading and understand the benefit of Google Places i think everyone is going to love!

    • Author
      Carolyn Wilson September 18, 2011 Reply

      It’s great to be able to quickly see you are getting something you really want, in the place you want. And, that’s great feedback for the florist, Lauren.

  2. Erum Gosh September 15, 2011 Reply

    One of the biggest advantage, you don’t need to extra effort for SEO, if any business want to take advantage of “Local Search” they must put their business on Google Places! Caroly, as you described the each n every benefit, i think after reading your potential article every business is going to take advantage of Gogole Places!

  3. Elaine Lindsay September 16, 2011 Reply

    Great article Carolyn,
    I was just going over Google Places with 2 customers early this week. In very different businesses both with bricks and mortar locations; Google Places is a Big Gift for small business all wrapped up in a big RED Balloon!
    All local businesses should take advantage of what Google is offering.

    • Author
      Carolyn Wilson September 18, 2011 Reply

      Yes, Elaine. I’m surprised it isn’t used by more small businesses. I’m sure once they are aware of it, they’ll be in!

  4. Anonymous September 18, 2011 Reply

    Congrats Carolyn great tips for small businesses!

  5. Stacey Myers September 19, 2011 Reply

    This is really great information! I will be passing it on to people that have local businesses!

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