Google Places: Putting Local Businesses on the Map

Google LogoGoogle is revamping their “Local Business Center” and changing the format of its local search so that it better serves users with more accurate results. The redesign includes a slew of new features and even a name change, Google Places.

Our Internet marketing firm has helped many businesses utilize local directory listings on Google. When you do, you will be pleasantly surprised how the new application makes it easier for users to find local businesses that provide specified products and services. It not only indexes your business, it gathers reviews, posts your contact information, includes images and more. It clearly presents information to people in your area that are searching for a business like yours. If handled properly, it can be a very effective portion of your marketing arsenal.

Google Places Features

Google Places will make a variety of features available to consumers that will assist them to find exactly what they are looking for. One of the most important features that Google Places includes is the ability for businesses to designate their services areas. This way, customers are only going to get businesses that can actually provide them with whatever they need in their search results and businesses only get customers that are in their range.

The next big step Google took when designing Google Places was allowing businesses to provide tags with their listings, so they could better define their products and services to customers who are using specific keywords to search. These tags even appear on the listings map as yellow markers that highlight the important aspects of your services or products. Although they don’t affect your search rankings, they can catch the attention of your potential customers. Google offers you elevated exposure that can be achieved by these tags for only $25 monthly.

A big technologically advanced feature that Google is including with its release of Google Places is its ability to create QR codes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what they are, QR codes are specific barcodes that conceal certain information. The QR codes that Google Places will provide can be scanned by customers’ smartphones and it will take them directly to your website. You can use these codes on business cards, flyers and any other type of marketing tactics to help drive customers to your website.

Google Places is going to give a lot of local businesses the chance to expand, by giving them the opportunity to capitalize on the exposure it can create to local, potential prospects. Businesses with limited service areas or businesses that don’t ship their products can reap the benefits of this service. It is a way that businesses can increase their sales without having to go out of their geographic limits.

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