According to Google, 97% of people looking for local goods or services search online – but they want to find geographically close locations they can visit in person.
Since social search took off in 2009 Google has been aggressively studying this and researching internet user trends, doing their best to get the jump on not only Facebook and other top social networks, but also on the competition from mobile apps. They have come out with several new options and tools to help make the net more useful to both users and small business people alike – and one of their most important tools has turned out to be their (free) Google Places for Business platform.
Google Places allows you to make sure your physical business location is displayed correctly in related platforms such as Google Maps, as well as make sure people who are searching for your types of products or services find you easily and quickly.
I’ll add a series of blogs on how to take advantage of Google Places to flush out the hidden market online – and send them to your door.
What Is Google Places?
It’s free. It’s geared to help you promote your local business. It’s Google Places.
Google Places allows you to:
- Research your ideal customer
- Present your USP in a succinct format.
- Feature your promotions, location, hours, whether or not you offer parking
- Post live news feed
- Use videos and graphics in your local search marketing messages
- Interact with reviewers
- Augment this with Google AdWords Express (paid PPC local advertising expressly designed to boost local businesses), if desired
Even if you don’t have a shop or physical office, you can simply choose a precise geographical area you wish to target and designate your service area through Google Places for that area.