The Importance of Google Places for Small Businesses

Show Up on the Map

Google Places thumbWhether you have a physical location or not, you should use a Google Places account to increase your chances of being found online. A robust Google Places account is more important than a healthy Facebook as it ”puts you on the map” both physically and in an SEO perspective, seeing as most web and map searches are going through Google.

Start at Google+

Start by going to Google+. You will be greeted by this:

  • If you already have a gmail account, you may use that to enter
  • If you do not have a gmail, select “create an account” below the grey box
  • You will be presented with a form of fields you must fill out as well as other authentication steps
  • Next you may add a photo, or continue. Remember, this is your personal page, not your business page.

You can go through the next several steps or skip them if you’d like. At this point, you have made a google+ account.

Google+ Login image

Creating your Google Places Account

Next go to Google Places. In the top right corner, you should see:

Sign in using your gmail account. If you made the Google+, it was the email you filled in the field that ended with @gmail.com

If you do not already have a business linked to your account, you should see a map of the United States and two checkboxes. The first is google asking you to join their mailing list, the second you must agree to continue.

  • Next, you will be asked to type in the physical address of your business. (If you are a business that does not work with clients at its physical location, like BigThunk, you should still put in the address where you operate. There will be a way to clarify this in a moment.)
  • Your address, even if correct, may not be recognized. If this is the case, select the grey box to continue filling out your information.
  • Now, if you do not meet clients where you operate (at a store front or office), check the “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” checkbox.
  • If you are a mixture of both  – you have people to greet customers at your business but still make visits for business – mark the checkbox.
  • When that box is marked, you will be asked to clarify whether or not you serve customers at your business address or not, and the distance in which you are willing to serve customers (assuming you are traveling to them)

Verify Your Listing

Google will send you a postcard with a PIN on it to your business address so they can verify your existence in that location. You can continue to set up your account during this time by adding pictures and filling out other information to make yourself easier to find for potential customers. Once you receive the postcard and follow the steps to enter the PIN, your listing will be live.

Comments And Reviews Are Important

Also remember, comments from customers on your Google Places are extremely beneficial for your search performance in the Google algorithm.

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