Small Businesses are always looking for ways to get more customers, right? In many cases businesses that have physical locations try to drive as much traffic as they can to their website and then use their site to drive traffic to their physical business. This can work, however with Google Places being such a powerful force in the market your business could get buried under a huge list of businesses names and addresses, even though the competing business may not even have a website!
If this doesn’t seem fair…it actually is, you’re just missing-out on a key element that you should be using to drive more traffic to your business. I know what some of you are saying now, “I run an online business, so what the heck are you talking about!” In the case of online businesses you may still have an office, if you provide services to clients, there’s a good chance these clients would rather work with someone in their local area rather than someone halfway across the country or the world.
Just look at SEO companies. Many SEO companies do major business in their local area. Local business owners want to be able to meet with people in person or know that they have an understanding in the local area. So yes, this does apply to businesses that live mostly in the virtual world. So how does Google Places work?
All you have to do is head on over to Google.com/places and you’ll have the opportunity to add your business. You will have to be signed-into your Google account, but I’m sure you already have one for your business…right? Next you’ll be directed to a screen that will ask for your phone number so they can make sure you’re not already in the system.
Google is pretty famous for making the sign-up process for their services super-simple so you can just follow the prompts and before you know it, your business will show up in the list with other local businesses. It’s amazing how many businesses I’ve encountered in Los Angeles that spend a fortune on advertising but don’t show-up in Google Places. This is a great, free way to rank well for local searches and drive more customers to your business.