The importance of google places

What is Google Places? Why do you need to use it? Find out more below with our simple guide to get your business up and running on a service that is quickly becoming very important.

What is a Google Place?

A Google place is a free listing with Google for any business with a physical location. Your location and company name appears on Google Maps, and in the Places section of a Google search. Users can also visit your Places listing to view more information about your company.

It is designed to make physical shops and locations much simpler on the web, and any business with a physical premeses—such as an estate agent, coffee shop, or even website design company—should have one.

Why do you need a Google Place?

Google Places allows your business to be found quickly when a user searches for a company in a geographic location. There are already vast numbers of companies listed on Google Places and not including yourself might put you at a disadvantage.

In some instances, businesses listed in Google Places take up to 70% of the results space on the first page of a Google search, so it’s worth getting your company listed simply for the impact it can have. Google Places is a free service, so there’s no reason not to be included.

Taking control of a Google place that exists

First, to use Google Places you need a Google Account. You get one of these when signing up to the various Google services, such as Google Mail, Picasa and so forth. If you don’t have one, simply go to https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount and fill out the information.

Once you’ve done that, or if you already have a Google Account, go to the Google Places homepage (http://www.google.com/places/) and click the Get Started button. If you’re not already logged in, it’ll now ask you to do so.

Adding a Business

Once you log in, assuming you have no businesses already set up on your account (if you do, simply click Add Another Business), you’ll be directed to a page asking you to add a phone number and location. This step checks whether the business you’re adding is already present.

If your business already exists, you’ll have the opportunity to edit the information. If not, you can now add it by filling in the form that comes up. Try to put in as much information as you can, so that the listing is as helpful as possible to potential customers.

Google Place Guidelines

  • Your Business name should be just your name—not what you do or where.
  • Your description should describe what you do, without repeating your company name and without using bullet points.
  • Add photos and any videos (linked to YouTube) you have. The more relevant the information the better.
  • Use categories to list what you do. The only caveat with categories is that at least one must be one of Google’s pre-defined categories. After that, if none of the existing categories fit you can use custom ones.

Do not

  • Try to fool Google by optimising the business name and/or description with your key words/phrases.
  • Add more than one location if you’re only based at one.
  • Add multiple accounts under different business names at the same location.

Do

  • Utilise the 200 characters of text that the description allows.
  • Add as many categories as you can that you fall into.
  • Add videos and images
  • Add opening hours
  • Remember that Google looks at what the end user is looking for’if it is relevant to the end user it is relevant to Google.

Reviews

This comes back to relevance to the end user. If people review you—good or bad—you are more relevant and Google does place some weight on this. Reviews can be from independent sources such as:

  • Thomson Local
  • Yell.com
  • Qype
  • Local Data Search
  • Google’s own review section

The more independent reviews you get the more chance there is of moving up the Google Place rankings.

If you require any further assistance please contact Lisa at lisa@issl.co.uk or 01706 508075 and arrange a chat.