Google Places is a Good Place to Be for Small Businesses on the Internet

When marketing your small business it is wise to consider your Website URL as the primary marketing tool. Hopefully your URL was selected to reflect what key words customers use when searching online for your product or service.

Todd Tennant has an informative Website all about local search for small business that provides great practical advice. He gives permission to “post this on your blog or e-mail it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it.” Thanks, Todd.

So what is Local Search?
Any search trying to find something within a specific geographic area. Example:
“downtown Chicago car rental drop off” or “Simi Valley plumber.”
The type of business and customers you have will determine how much effort you put into local search, Tennant says. For some “hyperlocal” businesses like manicurists, dry cleaners and sandwich shops, a local Internet listing is critical.

Google stats reveal that — one of every five searches in Google are location-related.
Google announced this week that  it is rebranding its Local Search tool as Google Places and is adding new features. Hubspot, Inc.,and inbound marketing firm says, “The change will help business owners more seamlessly manage their presence on Google via their Place Pages and is a move toward Google’s attempt to become “‘more local.'”

The name change from Local Business Center  to Google Places doesn’t remove of any features, but does offer an additional set of features to users and simplifies business owners’ connection with their Places Page.

Some of the new Google Places features:
1.Service Areas -this allows businesses to indicate which geographic areas they serve.
2.Simpler Advertising- even though Google Places is free business can “tag”their listing (for increased listing visibility) in select cities for $25/month.
3.Real-Time Updates can be added by businesses to their Place Pages, which can be used to announce promotions, events, etc.

Tennant has this advice for creating your Google Places listing:

  • Use a local phone number.
  • Choose relevant keywords in your business category. His example is to choose “pediatric orthodontist” or another dental speciality instead of just listing “dentist.”
  • Also choose keywords that identify your type of company after its name. Example: put “ABC Industries- Denver’s Housecleaning Service” instead of just ABC Industries.

Ready to get started? Go to GooglePlaces Now