Claim your land on Google Places

November 2, 2011

Google offers free Google places page that can boost your visibility attract more traffic and allow you to control your online search world. You are being given a free webpage that appears above all organic search results. Why wouldn’t you work a few hours to maximize this free publicity?

First Claim your Google place – go to Google.com/places and on the top right you will see a link to claim page if you are the owner. If you have already claimed it that link will say owner verified. You will need to fill out some information and before they update your page they will need to verify you ARE the owner.

Google offers two choices to verify you are the owner – give them a phone number or have them send you a postcard. I recommend the phone number option, but know that within minutes of submitting that your phone will ring with an automated recording giving you a “code number” be prepared with a pen to write it down. You then input the code and you will be submitting your Google place page to be reviewed. It can take a week for them to approve and publish your page. If you go with the postcard way remember to go input that code or your owner verification has not happened and you cannot make any changes.

Get your customers to leave testimonials on the Google review engine that will boast where you rank in the places section. They used to use the yelp review engine, but now they have their own review engine so you need to boost your reviews there in order to come up higher in the places section. Think about sending out a postcard asking for a “Google Places Review” maybe include a gift card or offer for a free service if they do.

Remember people are very busy and asking them to do one more thing can be a lot, we may have really loved your services but taking that extra time is time – make it worth something to them. Also if you are asking for testimonials GIVE THEM A LINK – don’t expect a review and ask them to look up your info. Without the link expect to get even fewer testimonials.

Optimize your places page with keywords that are searched for your business – use the free Google keyword tool to see what is actually searched. http://Googlekeywordtool.com. Enter the business categories for your business choices, you are allowed several so to maximize your results be sure to add them all. Your competition is. Don’t just choose “web design”, choose “website design”. If you have business hours this is the place to put that.

Complete your places page by adding images, video, logo and a very SMART idea is to take a picture of the outside of your business, because the image that gets displayed on Google maps is actually as if they were looking out your front door so very often customers are confused by that – so adding an image looking at your location will help them find you. Add the link to your website, Facebook page, twitter account, YouTube channel and any other accounts you actually use. (Note if you HAVE a twitter account but never post, no one follows you please do not put that on your place page – it’s really bad to send people to a dead reflection of your business)