We spoke last week about the importance of digital marketing for local businesses. Here’s one of the key pillars to local search – Google Places. [level-members]
It’s important to claim your business’ Google Places listing, and to creating as complete a profile as you can. These instructions from Google are a great place to start, though you have to have a Google account first. (As Google notes, if you have a Google account you’re already using on a personal level, you may want to set up new one specifically for marketing your business, as you may have to share it with colleagues.)
Your listing can include basic contact information like address, phone, email, and website as well as useful information for potential clients, like your hours of operation and a map/directions.
You can go a step further and create a Google+ page for your business. This is a more detailed profile, and though not nearly as big as Facebook, offers some of the same social media benefits.
Places also gives you the opportunity to link AdWords campaigns and other promotions to your profile and have them appear in search results.
Finally, you’ll notice an Insights tab when you’re logged to your account. Check this out for data on how and why your business is being searched for.