Local Marketing at Google Places

google places local marketingWhat is Google Places and why should you care?

Google Places, formerly known as Google Maps is a website where you can list your business details; name, location, category, hours of operation, areas of service, and add pictures, videos and keywords.

There are 10 listings on the first page (a – j), with a map that indicates business location. Google Places is exciting because with a little work you can find yourself on the first page of Google in a short period of time.

Let’s start with the Google Places Listing.

Go to www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter
You are going to use your gmail UserName and Password.

1. Fill in the Country and the Business phone #
2. Fill in your business name. If you are an independent contractor, just fill in your name. If you have a dba, fill in that business name. Don’t add any keywords or descriptions, you will have time for that later.
3. Fill in street address, it must be a physical address, not a P.O. Box. If you don’t want people to know your physical address, don’t worry you can hide it.
4. Add your City, State and Zip code.
5. You can add more phone numbers. A word of caution, do not add a phone number that other people use.
6. Enter your email address and your website address.
7. Copy and paste your business description (200 characters max). Make sure you include your keywords in this description.
8. Enter your business Category. The first category has to be one of the default categories provided for you by the system. Add up to 4 more, and they don’t have to be in the system.

Service Area and Location
9. Unless you are a brick and mortar store, and all of your clients come to you, be sure to click on “Yes, this business serves customers at their locations”
10. Check the box – Do not show my business address on my Maps listing – if you don’t want your physical address to show.
11. At the Distance from one location, if you add City and State, then type in the service area miles, the map will show a radius of how far you will travel to sell products and provide services.
12. If you click on List of Areas Served and add in City, State, or just add the zip codes of all the areas you serve that map will again show how far you are willing to travel to sell products and provide services.

Hours of Operation
13. Click on I Prefer not to Specify my Hours, or,
14. Click on My Operating Hours are, and fill in the hours, or,
15. You can click on I’d Like to Enter two sets of hours for a single day, and add a second shift to your available operating hours.

Payment Options
16. Specify how customers can pay you for your products and services

Photos
17. Add photos of your store front, your personal photo, photos of your products, up to 10 photos. NOTE: Make sure that your keyword is in the photo title.

18. Add your YouTube Videos (up to 5) to your listing. Again, make sure your keywords are in the Video title.
19. Additional details – don’t ignore this, it is important. You can add more of your keywords and services here. For instance:

Short Sales:Yes
Foreclosures: Yes
Residential Real Estate: Yes
Parking: Yes
Free shipping: Yes

20. Click Submit, in the next screen, Google lets you know that they are going to send you a post card in the mail to verify the information you have given them. When that notification comes, you will need to go to your Google Places dashboard and enter the code provided in the post card. Your Google places listing should be live a couple of days later.

NOTE: You can’t just put your listing up and forget it. In order to stay on the first page you have to put some time into maintaining your place. You need to monitor your Dashboard and where your listing is indexed to make sure you stay indexed on page one of Google places.

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