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How Google Places can bring you business
Google places huge emphasis on local search. For example, if you are looking for a hair salon, you are also most likely to couple your search request with the name of a town or area, as you will be looking for a salon in a specific area, and not a list of all salons in the world.
How are you found?
I travel around Ireland quite a bit for work. I sometimes end up staying in an unfamiliar town at short notice. I tend to use the search results returned by Google places, combined with customer reviews and business websites, to select somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat, maybe even somewhere to buy petrol. I suspect that I am not alone. For example, if you want to search for a restaurant, you most likely want to find a restaurant near to where you are now or plan to be later, and not just a long list of resturants. You will therefore add a place name to your search. As a restaurant owner, you want to be returned in local searches, and one of the ways of improving your chances of being returned in local search results is to claim your Google Places listing.
One of the many tips in our “Marketing on a Shoestring” courses is to claim your listing on Google Places. It’s easy, it’s free and it gives a business an opportunity to show up on relevant searches for their sector and their area. Google introduced “Places Search” to cluster “search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go.”
There’s an App for that
In January of this year, Google launched an App for Google places for Android and it’s also available as an app for iPhone. These apps are free, and are a traveller’s best friend. The app, if you grant permission, knows where you are located, and will show you the services that you want which are closest you. It also offers a nifty review button, which means that your customers can provide instant on-the-spot reviews for your business. Positive reviews increase sales. Negative reviews, providing they are in the minority, won’t adversely affect your sales. Being on Google places with reviews is much better than being on Google places without reviews. The Google App could help to increase the number of reviews for your business, and could literally bring business to your door.
Has Google Places been useful for your business? Please let us know in the comments below!
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