We’ve been asked by quite a few clients about business listings and google places / reviews so we’ve dedicated a blog article to just that.
We have all been in this situation; stuck somewhere down a country lane in the middle of nowhere with no signposts for miles, while trying to remember directions on a scrap of paper or badly memorized ramblings. A standard map is not just outdated but it does not give you the geographical location of the place you are trying to find. Satellite navigation systems are a leap forward from the standard old fashioned map but if you have owned one then you will know that there is always the possibility of being sent to a place that does not exist or the wrong way round a one way system. Google Places however, gives you all the information you need at just the touch of a button. It is not just the client that will benefit by using Google Places.
As the owner of a business nowadays you need an accurate online presence and a business listing on Google. People these days use search engines such as Google to find businesses and places they wish to visit. If you choose to use Google Places for activity centres then you are one step ahead of your competitors; upgrade from a basic listing to one with not just a phone number and address but a link to your website. Your link can also display opening hours, videos, reviews, adverts and much more. The added benefit is the fact that Google Places is free making it the next best thing after paid advertising.
There are some guidelines that you must adhere to when listing your business on Google Places. “…vacation homes or vacant apartments, are not eligible to be listed on Google Maps and should not be verified. Instead, verify the listing for your sales or leasing office or offices. If you have a property with an on-site office, you may verify that office location”. For example, non-residential properties cannot be verified on Google Places. Instead you should list your office. If you have an office that is on site then this can be verified as the location of your office. Due to these limitations you need to make sure that you are specific in your listings and include your headquarters or office in your listing.
When you not only have an onsite office but you are actually a resident there, you can mark this location. In turn this means that an exact geographical location will be marked on Google Places for activity centres showing where both your office and your activity centres are located. Potential clients will then be able to assess the route they would take to visit you as well as verifying the distance of the centre from other amenities.
When you don’t live on site, you can cover your centres with a listing known as a “service area”. This will allow potential clients to see the general area they will visit. Once they have located the service area, it is then straight forward to find the best route for arriving at the required destination. A service area is a good idea when you do not wish for your personal location or address to be made public.
When you neither live on site nor are all your centres grouped together, there are two options open to you that you can use either separately or together. Firstly, you can use the option of setting up a large service area that would cover all your centres. This will not guide your clients to your activity centres but will show the extent of your business empire. Also, in order to have a permanent listing for prospective clients to view, you can save a link from Google Maps for activity centres to your own centre or centres. When clients need to find their destination all you need to do is send them this link.
Firstly, in order to set markers for your businesses you will need a Google account. Once you have set up an account, you must visit Google Places and find your business using the provided tool. You may already have a basic listing and in this case you can add more information or correct erroneous info that could have been costing money to your firm. By filling in as much info as you can about your business it will stand out. Once this has been completed you need to preview, verify and then publish your listing. The verification listing can be done by phone or post. Once complete, your business is out there to be found by many potential clients.
If you are wondering how Google profits from this then the answer is quite simple. Your input keeps their services up to date, meaning that the situation is positive for both parties. It is beneficial, easy to set up and most importantly it is free: so, why wait, start your set up today.