Google Places is a relatively new service provided by Google, allowing businesses to add their information to their location on the Google Mapped World.
The service is FREE and simple to use. Simply visit www.google.com/places and complete your profile, but before you do please read on and find out some important tips for making this profile work and why you need to do it.
What benefit will a Places listing provide me?
When a user performs a “localised” search on Google, i.e. searching but with a location in the search query such as “hypnotherapist in Brentwood”, Google will display a map and show all businesses who have registered their “place” on the map. Clicking on any of these pointers will display a full profile on this business which is the content that you subit when you register.
Very recently Google changed the location of the map and its pointers. It was previously in the middle of the search results page but has now been moved to the right-hand column. When it was in the main results these listings were displayed above the organic listings, which meant that Google maps listings received a huge number of clicks. Now that it has moved to the right the amount of traffic that is generated from your Google maps listing will be less, but it is still worth your attention.
What do I need to do to add my listing?
Simply visit www.google.com/places and then register your profile. You can register a profile for every location you have, so businesses with multiple outlets should add them all.
Once you have completed the registration form you will need to verify your listing. Google will provide you with a choice of verification method and a code will be sent to you (telephone is the best and is usually received within 2 minutes of submitting the form) which you need to enter before your profile is complete. Once verified your profile should become active within one to two days.
How do I optimise my profile so that it gets listed?
When completing your profile make sure that all of the information is completed and that it includes the important search phrases that your users will be searching for. Your description shouldn’t sound robotic, but should contain the most important phrases here, however this is not enough. You should complete ALL of the available fields in the profile with as much information as you can. Upload photos of your outlet or office or location or product too as these will de displayed when a user views your profile.
When choosing the category to list your business in take your time and get it right. You are free to enter any category you like, but if you use the tool properly Google will suggest topics for you and it is advisable to work within their structure wherever possible. Note that you can add up to five categories for each listing so there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t use all five.
What do I do once my profile is active?
Once your listing becomes active there is a Google Places Analytics tool that shows you useful stats on how many times your profile has been displayed and how many times it has been clicked.
You should also ask your customers to complete a review or recommendation of your business as this will be available for other users to see and increases the likelihood of another user clicking into your profile and on to your website.
Review your profile and experiment with writing different descriptions and content. You may find that your traffic goes up when you include certain words and phrases or use different categories. Measure and benchmark this over time.
You can also setup discount codes or vouchers entitling users who have arrived at your website to whatever promotion you wish. These vouchers can be date-specific or last forever, and are a great way to entice a user to click through to your profile.
Top Tips for your profile:
- Complete your full profile in detail and remember to include the phrases your customers will be searching for
- Add your logo and other photos and videos to make your listing stand out
- Add coupons or vouchers to your listing to attract views to click-through to your website
- Collect recommendations from your customers to boost your profile and make it more appealing for new users
- Review the Analytics regularly and update the content to maximise its effectiveness.
If you’ve still got questions about how to setup or manage your Google places listing please get in touch. If it is all too much for you to do then Eseyo will happily setup and manage your account for you for a small charge.