Run a Google Search for just about anything – restaurants, dentists, hardware stores… you name it! – and the resulting list will frequently be accompanied by a map defining the list results.
Do you want your business to appear on the highly coveted maps produced by Google search engines? It’s easy as 1-2-3!
These informational “map points” represent Google Places. Despite Google Places increasing importance in SEO – for both large and small businesses – few marketing managers or business owners take advantage of claiming their Google Places page.
Don’t be one of these slacker managers! You can claim your business page at http://www.google.com/business/ . Claiming your business page literally takes as little as three minutes – though it can take longer depending on the quantity and detail of information you opt to provide as you complete your profile.
In addition to providing business listing on google maps, completing your Google business profile will help you achieve many sought-after goals, whether your business is large or small:
- Reviews: When you sign up for a Google Business Profile, you’ll have easy access to all your business reviews. This benefits your business in two major ways:
- The more reviews you receive, the better your SEO,
- You can show how your business interacts with reviewers and reacts to reviews – good or bad. This contributes to your overall brand image.
- New or small businesses who have yet to publish a website can take advantage of Google business services by utilizing published Google business information to help inform the public of its services, location and contact information.
- Never underestimate the power of your business listing appearing on a Google map. Google lends credibility to your business in many fashions – Google maps being one of the most powerful.
- Your listing will appear on all Google + search listings (more information regarding G+ in part 2/2).
- You remove the power of your business listing from random consumers when you take control of the published information that Google provides with your listing.
- It’s CHEAP! The only cost involved in this powerful marketing tool is the time you invest to complete your business profile.
Once you’ve claimed your business, you’ll find a drop-down menu labeled “My Business.” Think of this as your Google Business Dashboard. You’ll find several useful tools to navigate through your Google Business page:
Google + – A direct link to your business’s G+ Page.
Stream – Check out what’s happening in the lives of the people your business follows on G+.
People – Connect with people! Utilize Google’s “Circles” to help you categorize these people as clients/customers, vendors, VIPs, or friends. Create circles to definite your business’s needs.
Photos – A place to house your photos on your Google Business page.
Communities – Find groups with shared interests. From “Photography,” to “Health and Fitness,” to “Social Media,” to Living Right – the list goes on and on. Join some communities to find like-minded people or to interact with folks that potentially fall into your business’s demographic.
Events – Create your own event with Google’s beautiful invitations, instant photo sharing that places all event photos in one place when in “Party Mode.” With Google Events, you can plan a dinner or organize a house party … the possibilities are endless!
All Pages – Managing social media or Google Business pages for multiple businesses? No problem. You’ll find all your pages neatly tucked into one account under this link, making it a breeze to visit multiple pages without logging in and out of different accounts.