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October 27, 2010

Adding Your Business To Google Maps with Google Places

Does your company rely on local business?

Local search engine marketing is one of the most straight forward and cost effective ways to market a local business.  The days of Yellow Books are over and more people are going to the internet for local information then ever before.

If you rely on local business, you company needs be listed on Google Maps.  To do this, you’ll need to get listed with Google Places. And it’s free!

Google Places - Get Your Business Listed

Whats the difference between Google Maps and Google Places?

In plain english:

  • Google Maps is a database of listings
  • Google Places is where you manage your own listings.

Google creates unverified listings on Google Maps by scraping up web content.  If you find your business on Google Maps, you can then claim it as yours.  If you don’t find it, you can add a new listing.  After you claim your listing, you can manage it in Google Places.

Advantages of Listing Your Business

google places statistics

  • See Helpful Statistics About How People Find You.
  • See Where Users Are Searching From.
  • Helps Customers & Potential Customers Find You Easily
  • Free Advertising For your Business (provides link back to your web site as well)

google places map

Can I make My Business Stand Out?

A new service was launched this summer called “Tags” which allows businesses to purchase advertising to promote certain aspects of their business. So for example,  if I wanted to run a special on DVD Players, I would pay Google a $25 flat fee to purchase a tag that runs for one month. Now every time my listing comes up on Google Maps, my special on DVD Players will show up as well.

Another way your business will stand out from others is if it is located in the center of town.  Sometimes there is not much you can do about this, but businesses in the center of the town being searched for do show up higher then businesses further from the center of town.

Other helpful tips for your Google Place listing:

  • Add as many categories as you can.
  • Fill out as much information as you can, the more sections you fill in the better
  • Encourage your customers to write a “Review” of your business on Google Maps.
  • Include important keywords in the description of your business.
  • Respond To Reviews To Enhance Your Listing
  • Upload photos of your product/service
  • Create Coupons to provide an incentive for people to visit your site or contact your business.

Here are a few videos from Google to explain their service as well:

For help with Google Places, visit their help section.

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