There has been quite a bit of hubbub about Google Places lately. I know, I have been a bit of a cheerleader myself. It used to be relatively difficult for a local business to get anywhere near the first page of Google results.
It could be done but required extensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge or the hiring of expensive consultants. Today, there are even a few businesses showing up on the first page of results that don’t even have a web site of their own.
Now the important thing you need to know if you are new to Google Places is that you need to claim your page. It is easy to do. Just search for yourself online and look for your Google Places Page. When you find it, go to the page and at the top right click on where it says “Business Owner.”
Then fill in the form. Do a thorough job. Completion matters.
You will now be ahead of the game. Less than 3 out of a hundred businesses have claimed their Google Places Page so far, which means you have a short term advantage over them that can turn into new customers and more profits for you.
Once you have done this step, to keep that advantage you want to get citations, which are nothing more than being listed on other people’s sites. Surprisingly one of the most valuable places to get these citations is on Google competitors, Bing and Yahoo.
Not only are these good citations, but they will also drive a fair amount of traffic to you in their own right. Now Google is still king of search engines, but the others still have a solid slice of the market.
The real lesson here is that you as a business want to be everywhere. The new marketing is all about being found when people want and need your services or products. When they do a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo you want to be on page one of the results.
All across the US and the world, entrepreneurs are marketing their services to small businesses to help them take advantage of Google Places. Again I know as I am one of them. If you don’t know what or how to do it, hire one of them to get it done. The world is changing. And more change is coming. Find a resource you can rely upon.