7 December 2011
Google Local was first introduced in 2004 and has gone through numerous changes to reach it's current incarnation as Google Places. Although Google Places has taken off exponetially over the last couple of years - particularly with the rising interest in local and mobile search - many businesses still don't know about the service and the benefits of setting up an account.
Who is it for?
Any business which has a physical address can benefit from a Google Places listing. Businesses with multiple locations can have multiple listings. Even sole traders and individuals working from home can can have a Google Places account. Google Places is particularly effective for any company who may be reliant on local business and local searches. For example: restaurants, plumbers, locksmiths, hotels, dentists, doctors, builders, mechanics and many more.
How much does it cost?
It's absolutely free to set up a Google Places account, so there are no financial barriers to entry.
The importance of local keywords
Setting up your business on Google Places can help your website to appear high in the Google search engine rankings for certain highly targeted local search terms. Consider the following examples:
Pizza Delivery Birmingham, Dry Cleaners Coventry, Legal Services London
All of these businesses are reliant on local searches and customers searching for these businesses invariably use local place names in their search queries.
If you search in Google for the above terms you'll see that all the listings which appear towards the top of the search results (with the exception of AdWords) are returned from Google Places.
How does it work?
Take a look at the screenshot below for the search phrase: Legal Services London
Listings for this query are displayed in two columns. In the right hand column you'll see the company name, web address and a link to their Google Places page. In the left hand column you'll see the company address, telephone number and a map reference. A map is also displayed with markers for all the companies relevant to your search (see screenshot below).
You can see from the images posted above that companies who take the time to set up a Google Places account can achieve top spots in Google for some of the most targeted and relevant keywords associated with their business. Searchers and potential customers have immediate access to the most essential information such as location and contact details and can easily check out the company website or the Google Places page.
Google Places pages
Google Places pages can contain a whole range of information about your company. You normally add this information when you set up your account, but you can easily update and add new information to your page as and when required.
Basic information includes your company name and address, telephone number and website address. You can easily post additional items such as a description of what you do, who you are, your opening hours, what payment options you accept and other useful information. Google Places also allows you to add photos and even videos to your account, so with a little effort you can make sure your page is both interesting and informative and stands out from other businesses in your field.
Free targeted traffic
With the increasing emphasis on local and mobile search, businesses need to look at all the avenues available to reach out and attract new customers. Google Places provides one simple solution which businesses can employ in order to increase website traffic and promote their services in the highly targeted and lucrative local search marketplace.
If you don't have time to set up your own Google Places account or would prefer someone else to do it for you, just get in touch and we'll take care of everything. For more information call: 024 7655 1111 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org