Google recently integrated a few of their business services into the new and improved Google Local Business Search; and they’ve given it a new name – Google Places.
Google Places allows bricks and mortar business owners to add their business location to Google Maps. This will typically be shown in Google searches when relevant to the searched terms “pubs in Manchester” for example.
A number of advantages are immediately obvious when using Google Places. Businesses can quickly gain a page 1 search result with much less optimisation work. This means traditional businesses don’t have to be SEO whiz kids to start generating a few leads.
Business Owners are given a Google Places control centre where they can add a detailed description of their business; they can add opening times, photographs, directions, videos and much more. This all helps to turn leads into customers. Business owners are able to monitor, with ease, the keywords that are working for them and are driving traffic to their website. Finally, Google Places allows searches to provide reviews of your establishment and testimonials.
An interesting feature currently being rolled out is a customised QR code. A QR code is similar to a barcode – most modern day Smartphones are able to read these. When a picture of the QR code is taken and read by a Smartphone, the user will be taken directly to the businesses website. This can be useful when added to things like business cards and advertisements.
Google Places is a great service. It’s fast and easy to get started and the results are worth the effort.