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Google Places

Google Places SEO is Essential for local business

When people need to find a business, one of their first steps is going to be to do a web search. Because Google has become the powerhouse of Internet search engines, this is the site that most of the public will turn to. If they do a search for something generic, like “coffee shops Birmingham UK”, they will see two different types of listings. The set that gets the most attention and includes further details about the specific shops is called Google Places.

google-places-seo-1

In this illustration, only the businesses with Google Places registration are seen. Clearly, each company has a great deal of information, including reviews, addresses, phone numbers, links to websites, and even marks on a map. When compared to the standard Google listing below, this is a drastic difference.

googles-places-1 google-places2

There is an obvious visual advantage to having a Google places account and many users will be more interested in something visual, leading them to click one of the place listings above one of the standard options.
The Extra Feature
In addition to having a more visually appealing listing if someone searches for generic words, like coffee shop, any company will have an even more detailed listing if the user searches for the business name specifically. A company with a Google Places listing will look like this when the user searched for Urban Coffee Company:

google-places-3

Clearly, a stunning view like this will immediately draw the user to click on this site. Google Places doesn’t just work as a listing for the business, but also as an advertisement. A company that doesn’t have a Google Places account may have a high search engine ranking, but their listing will look like this:

google-places-4

Almost anyone who is searching for a coffee shop in Birmingham, UK is going to be immediately drawn to the more visually appealing and information-filled listing that Google Places provides.
The Benefits to Using Google Places
Any business, whether they have a strong web presence or not, needs to consider the benefits they will gain from Google Places. To begin with, the basic account is completely free. A user does not have to pay to get their company listed. This makes it much easier to use the service without having to worry about budget. Other benefits include the following:

  • A full listing can be set up in a matter of minutes.
  • The listing will include detailed, accurate information about the company.
  • A Google map will be connected to the listing, making it easier for customers to find.
  • Listings can include photos and videos, information on parking, details on coupons, and much more.

Each user will be able to determine how much they include on their Google Places page. For example, the Urban Coffee Company has included a number of pictures to show customers the quality of their food. The full Google Places page looks like this:

google-places-seo-1

This is a definite way to draw in customers since each business can clearly show customers the types of products or services that they offer. Additionally, open hours can be posted with contact information. That way, customers will know exactly when they can visit the location and when it will be open and available. No other search engine listing will provide details like this.
Google Places for Local Businesses
Any type of business can benefit from a Google Places account, but it is especially useful for local businesses. Because the local company doesn’t have as much ability to advertise on the Internet and needs to appeal to potential customers in the area, and Google Places is the best way to get attention for the businesses. Since the link includes important information like addresses and hours, any customers who live close by will find it much easier to visit the location of the business. This can bring more physical traffic into almost any store.
The Internet is a vast web of thousands of different companies vying for customer attention. That’s why every business has to find ways to stand out among the competition. While Google Places cannot take the role of full advertisements, it can certainly be helpful, especially for local businesses who are trying to draw in customers to their brick and mortar store. This service is free to anyone with a business and can easily be set up in a matter of minutes.

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