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Is your business listed in Google Places?

If you don’t know the answer to this question then you have an opportunity in front of you and a little work to do. (Or you could hire us to do it for you if you don’t want the hassle.) More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your business listing can be easily found in Google Places and Google Maps.
You can create your listing and add photos, descriptions and coupons. In fact, you may already have a listing that was created by Google and all you need to do is ‘claim’ your listing and update it. You can do that by going to Google Places and adding your listing. Google claims that they will merge your existing listing with the new one you create. For those who aren’t sure what Google Places is, here’s a screenshot of Google Places.Google Places The little red pushpins are locations on the Google Map of the business listings that Google returns for the search term entered (for example, sarasota website designers). You not only want to have your business listed in your own business category, you want to be listed as high as possible, so that your business is one of the little red pushpins. This greatly improves the chances of someone clicking on your listing and then visiting your website. Oh, and did I mention that Google offers this service at no charge? That is correct, no charge. It does however, take a little know how and some time to understand how to set up your listing and optimize it. Here are some tips on optimizing your Google Maps listing. Be sure to check out Google’s Quality Guidelines as well.

Optimization Tips

  • Title: Be sure to use it on Google Places and your website.
  • Description: Use your 200 characters wisely.
  • Photos: You can upload up to 10, load ’em up baby.
  • Videos: Google owns YouTube, so add links to your YouTube videos.
  • Reviews: Get some customers to write reviews.
  • Coupons: Always a popular item.
  • Website Optimization: Enhances your Google Places ranking.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive (although I could use a nap…), but it is a good start when creating your listing and then optimizing it for Google Places.
Have any other ideas for improving the ranking of Google Places listings? Feel free to share the wealth, we’re open to listen and learn.