Have you heard about ‘Google Places’ or ‘Google Local Business Center’? If not, you are missing out on a great opportunity to revamp your business. Google Places is a tool from Google which offers a fantastic way for local businesses to reach out to more customers. It lets your business quickly establish a presence on Google Maps and attract customers via the internet.
How does it work?
Google Places are a collection of web pages that are popped-up on Google Maps and Google.com when users search for local businesses and click the “More Info” button. As a business, it allows you to add and edit information about your products and services.
What does it cost?
“The best things in life are free” and Google Places is no exception to that rule. IMO, it’s a great tool for small businesses and SOHOs which do not have a budget for paid alternatives such as Google AdWords.
Further, you can actually derive the best out of Google Places by paying just $25 per month by using “tags”. How do tags help your business? In Google’s own words, Tags provide business owners with an opportunity to showcase an aspect of their Place Page that they think best reflects what they have to offer their customers. They can do this by highlighting a link to point customers directly to photos, videos, Website, coupons, directions, menu or reservations signup.
Further, Google plans to let businesses post sales alerts and other promotions from their dashboards to their Tags in Place Pages.
Google believes that Places has great potential for businesses and it can be a game changer for a business to revamp its local presence.
In December last year, Google started the ‘Favorite Places’ campaign to identify 100,000 of the most searched for businesses nationwide on Google. The campaign has now expanded that to an additional 50,000 businesses on top of offering the service to all who choose to use it.
Just imagine the business advantages that you can gain if your business gets ranked amongst Google Favorite Places. The possibilities are endless!
What about Coupons?
There’s no denying the fact that coupons are a great way for local businesses to drive customers to their stores. Google understands the importance of coupons as well as anyone else and hence it provides an option for businesses to offer Coupons through their Google Places Page.
The best part is that you can even offer these coupons to users on their mobile phones. The number of people using mobile devices to find local businesses is increasing exponentially and I expect that it will completely replace printed coupons in the coming five years.
Apart from these fantastic features, Google Places offers loads of other goodies to promote your business. These include
1) Free Photos – Google Places lets you upload photos of your business to accompany the product/ service listing.
2) Barcode Scanning – Google Places offers an instant barcode-scanning facility for smartphones. This is especially handy for retailers who can use this feature to offer special deals to customers.
With nearly 50 million and counting Google Places Pages, it is undoubtedly a great way to boost your business prospects in the local community.