Google Places is an incredibly important tool for you and your brand. Created to allow Internet users to search for products and services nearby, Google Places is essentially a business listing for your brand online and can help you no matter what your size.
Launched in 2010, Google Places is especially lucrative for local businesses, people hoping to work hyper-locally and target customers living in a certain location. With Google Places a company can control what information is seen about them on Google Search and in Maps. It also allows for news to be easily shared and the ability to easily edit any information about the company that may change. It can also, importantly, be a platform for customer reviews and an opportunity to start a conversation with customers.
Below we explore how to use it successfully.
Register a Google account in your company name
This website is where you need to start on your Google Places journey. Here you can register your business with Google, as opposed to signing up with your own personal email address. After you have signed up, your company will be seen across Google. This includes Google Maps, Search and Google+.
Make it personal
After you have registered your account, you can start to personalise your page. Adding a cover photo and profile pic will help people identify with your brand and will help build recognition. It’s important you think carefully about this- use images that your customers will be familiar with and that reflect your brand’s personality. Make sure it is also in the same style as your other social media accounts. You are able to store up to 10 pictures in Google Places. We recommend pictures of the inside and outside of your business (if you have a bricks and mortar location). Also include images of your logo and why not upload pictures of your employees? Again, this can help build loyalty. You can also add video here, for an added layer of engagement.
Double-check your details
Make sure all of the information you submit is accurate. From telephone numbers and opening hours, to a clear description of your brand. This is how people will find you and how they will be encouraged to click on your website over a competitors. Keep your company description short and snappy, so people aren’t having to scroll too far to reach the customer review section.
Ask (happy) customers to leave a review
Encourage conversations with your customers here. The more comments and reviews you have, the higher you will appear in the Map ranking. Remind people to leave reviews for you; this also encourages loyalty and will attract more customers.
Finally, make sure you regularly update your Google Places listing. Keeping it fresh with plenty of customer reviews and accurate contact information will serve you well in the long run!