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Google Places

01 Oct 2010

With recent news that Google Maps now reaches more than 100 million eyes each month, it’s important that your business is not only listed but that the listing is up to date. Google Places is a great way to get your business found on local search results on both Google Search and Google Maps.

Using Google’s online interface you can keep your business information current, post coupons and live updates to your listing, and use a performance dashboard to see how well it’s all going. A recently launched feature is Google Tags which, for less than $1 a day, promotes features that make your business unique in search results. There’s currently a free 30-day trial running for this new function. Google also says you can save time advertising with the tag builder and you can control your budget with a $25 per month flat fee for using the tagging service.

To get up and running, all you need to do is enter your location and phone number. If Google doesn’t already know your business, just fill in the fields that you want to appear on your listing. Google does most of the thinking for you and asks if your business provides services such as delivery or home repairs. You can enter your opening times, how customers can pay at your business, whether or not parking is readily available, and what brands of stock you might carry.

In order to truly stand out from the crowd though, you need to show your customers what it is you do. You can add a bit of flair to your listing by including photos of your products or storefront. You’re allowed to upload up to 10 photos on the condition that they all comply with Google’s photo submission guidelines, which you can find on the website. If that wasn’t enough, you can also upload up to five YouTube videos so potential customers can see your service before making first contact.

Even if your business hasn’t got a fully functioning website yet, or maybe it’s still in development, make sure that you take advantage of Google Places and have your business listed. Even having an old phone number or the wrong opening times on your listing could be having a negative effect on your business and reputation, possibly without you even knowing it. So get your face into Google Places and in front of new customers.