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Optimize Your Local Business in Google Maps with Google Places/Plus

A well optimized Google Places listing offers the lowest risk and highest reward potential of virtually all internet marketing for local business. Listing your physical location in Google Places is essential in today’s retail and business climate.  You want your business to come up at the top of the list, when people are using apps and Maps to find your type of product or service.  But, more than that, you also want to present your business in its absolute best light, instantly inspiring confidence and trust in potential customers. Google Places can boost your business in many ways. It connects your business with local customers.  Ninety seven percent, (97%) of consumers search for local businesses online. By utilizing Google Places your business will be there when consumers are looking for you! 

If your customers and prospects are locally based the importance of concentrating on local optimization of your web site and local directory listings gets more important with each passing day. 

When a potential customer inputs a search into the Google search bar local products and services regardless of whether the searcher used a geographic term in the search will show up in the top results. It used to be that if you wanted to get local results for a good Italian restaurant in Sugar Land, TX, you typed in “Italian restaurant Sugarland.” Now, by detecting the location of your IP address, Google will add the local result to the search results for the much more generic phrase “Italian restaurant,” as demonstrated by this screenshot.

That is why it is more important than ever that your local business is showing up in those Google Maps results. Google has disclosed that it uses three types of signals for local search rankings. These are relevance, prominence and distance. 

  • Relevance refers to the keyword matching of a business with the query of a user.
  • Prominence is composed of signals that Google uses to evaluate overall popularity of your company in comparison to similar businesses.
  • Distance is one of the prime local ranking signals for Google Maps. 

Help your business stand out by adding photos, update your address and hours or promote your business. Google Places allows you to add the following: 

  • Hours
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Photos
  • Link to your company website
  • Your location on Google Maps
  • Promotions
  • Customer reviews 

Adding all, (or most,) of the above to your Google Places listing lets you make the most of your listing and show customers why they’ll want to choose you. 

Connect with your customers. Being on Google places helps people find your company. It allows them to share information about your business and also rate and recommend your business to their friends and to people across the web.  As a business owner, you will see what people are saying about you and you will be able to respond to customer reviews. 

Once you fill out our Google Places form we will setup and optimize your Google Places Business Listing at no cost to you, and make sure that your listing has the best chance to rank highly on Google search results AND on Google Maps. Google tends to show results of businesses that have better and more complete profiles.  We’ll make sure yours is the best that it can be.

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Brian Groce is the Senior Technical Partner of Erickson Groce Agency. He has been helping clients in Houston and other cities across the nation optimize their Web sites for higher placement and better ROI.
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