The internet may have enabled businesses to widen their market, even creating global customers, but the same technology can also enable these businesses to cast the net to nearby markets, like their neighborhood residents for instance—all under one roof, like Google Places. In the same manner that global customers should be reached, businesses should entice the people living in the same street where they are established to avail their products and services.
Yes, if you own a business located in a hugely-populated community, you can still attract the attention of your neighbors by using Google Places. Google Places may very well be the Google online version of the traditional yellow pages. Integrating with Google’s other popular services such as Google Maps, Google Places provides a good method of placing your business online. A little effort from you leads to excellent results.
Google Places may even positively impact on your search engine optimization capabilities. Relevant local businesses included in Google Places may have higher ranks in Google search engine result pages compared with other sites which traditionally carry more weight. For example, if you run a small local gym in Cape Town, and you Google “Cape Town gym,” the larger brand-named gyms will figure on top of the search engine results pages since they have websites with greater SEO. Thus, YMCA or even Gold’s Gym will be among the first in the list, while your small, single branch gym will figure low in the listings. But then, having a page in Google Places will change all that, since by virtue of your own page, your gym will then be listed at the topmost of the list, ahead of the websites of YMCA and Gold’s. Though it is highly probable that these bigger gyms already have Google Places pages, ensuring that they figure on top as well, your little gym will at least have equal billing.
A start-up business should include in its list of “first things to do” the setting-up of its Google Places page. Take note that this is free, thus, there is no harm done when you avail this service. It will help lead your prospective customers to your business when they conduct simple online searches. It will also increase your business’ credibility through its online presence, enabled by Google.
Google Places has a reviews section in which users may leave feedback about your business. You are greatly advised to take note of the feedback you receive from clients, for you to identify which aspects are working and which aspects should be improved upon. Use the built-in tools to manage the different Google Maps reviews. In cases when certain users violate Google’s terms, you as the business owner can make a request for the removal of the link.
If you want your business to be found by your prospective clients, you should use Google Places. Aside from being free, Google Places ensures your business’ place in Google’s directory. Almost 60 percent of people in the US search online through Google, you would not want to pass up this chance to get this huge slice of the market today.