Chances are you fit into one of two camps:
- Those that havenâ€™t bothered to register their business on Google Places.
- Those that have registered but arenâ€™t sure if theyâ€™ve done enough and, or arenâ€™t convinced it was worth the effort
So in this post Iâ€™m going to cover the following:
- What Google Places has done for Chic Cakes
- Why Google Places is worth the effort – itâ€™s so worth the effort!
- Why there is no reason you shouldnâ€™t be using Google Places
- My tips for making a kick ass Google Places listing for your cake business
What has Google Places done for Chic Cakes?
Because of the extra effort I took with the Chic Cakes Place profile, Lauraâ€™s business name has been shown by Google 1,735 times over the course of 1 month.
Perhaps 1,735 isnâ€™t that big a number, but when you realise that each of those searches were within 10 miles of Lauraâ€™s home, and each of those searches were looking for cakes, it starts to look a hell of a lot more impressive.
Search engines are an incredibly powerful way of promoting your cake business. Your customers are searching online for your service – making sure you are visible is a great way to get more business.
Is Google Places really worth the effort?
Google is taking large steps to improve and expand what it calls â€œUniversal Searchâ€.
In a nutshell Universal Search is where Google displays relevant information alongside regular search results.
Youâ€™ve probably already seen this happening. If youâ€™ve searched for a movie recently you might have seen local cinema times above the main results. Youâ€™re bound to have seen Universal Search in action if youâ€™ve searched for products. Did you notice a photo of said item alongside prices from a few retailers? Thatâ€™s Universal Search in full effect.
Local business listings (or Google Places results) are another part of Googleâ€™s Universal Search idea. Instead of sending you off to someone elseâ€™s website, Google would rather you find all the information you need from that first results page.
The point is that Universal Search (along with Google Places) is a huge part of Googleâ€™s future and it wonâ€™t be disappearing anytime soon.
Yet another thing to consider with Google Places is how the results appear on mobile phones.
Lets be honest, pretty soon most of your customers will be using their mobiles to search the web for cake businesses, and Google have a nice little trick here too.
Your business phone number appears as a button, allowing customers to call you directly from the results page. Very neat.
4 reasons why you have no excuses in not using Google Places:
- Itâ€™s completely free
- It takes about 30 minutes to set up properly
- You donâ€™t need to have a website.
- You will start to see a result within a month. I only registered Chic Cakes on Google Places 4 months ago.
My tips on making an awesome Google Places listing
- Make sure it is 100% complete
- Include the names of the towns you deliver to in your categories
- Use all of the 5 categories
- Add as many images as possible. Your customers are looking at this page, does it do your business justice?
- Got a video of your work on YouTube? Well done if you have, it needs to be here too.
- Find a way of encouraging customers to leave reviews of your business online. Just be careful you donâ€™t badger people. Iâ€™ll share my tips on doing this in a later post.
- Get your business mentioned on other websites. Encouraging citations is also something I will talk about in a future post.
So, if youâ€™ve got enough time on your hands to read all of this post then you must have time to sort out your Google Places listing? Hereâ€™s a link to the sign up screen – Get registered now!
About the author: Rob Watson works for an Internet marketing agency in Northampton, UK. Heâ€™s been friends with Laura for about 10 years and loves her cakes – especially the one she made for his birthday.