Geolocation services are all the rage these days and the location based services market has gained amazing popularity amongst people from all walks of life. Though Foursquare and Gowalla have been great advocates of how businesses can leverage geolocation services for targeted marketing campaigns, they’ve now been overshadowed by the big boys of the social media world – Facebook (Places) and Google (Places again!).
Needless to say, with a strong arsenal of several location-based tools including Latitude, Hotpot,Maps, Tags and Goggles, Google is the big daddy of geolocation based marketing services. While each of these tools is a virtual marketing asset for businesses, I’m particularly impressed with the capabilities and prospects offered by Google Places. So, how to best leverage Google Places for Geolocation based marketing needs? Let’s find out.
What is Google Places?
Google Places lets businesses create a free listing for themselves on Google Maps. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need a website of your business.
How does it help your business?
Google Places is a fantastic Geolocation based marketing tool for several reasons. First, it lets your business reach new customers on Google Maps and Google.com. Secondly, it provides more convenience for existing local customers who can easily find you on Google Search as well as Google Maps. The best part about Google Places is that it works just as well for businesses of any size. It provides great flexibility by letting users edit their listings at any time as required.
With more than 50 million places already marked all around the world, it is a win-win situation for customers as well as businesses. When users rate a place they like, Google tells them about other related places that they’d love and this offers a fantastic opportunity for your business to reach out to prospect customers.
Customers share their ratings with their friends and can see the places they’ve recommended, thereby leading to passive viral marketing for your business.
How your business can leverage Google Places?
Your business can leverage Google Places in a number of ways to launch an effective geolocation marketing including:
Improve Search Engine Ranking For Local Search Results
Google Places is a great way to further enhance your business reputation in the local community. By providing accurate and complete business information, you have a good chance of drastically improving your Google search rankings. Make sure that your business is listed in the correct category and the description is worth reading.
Google Places is a great public place to gather positive reviews and favorable recommendations for your business. Encourage your Facebook Fans, Twitter followers and other social media associates to recommend your place on Google Maps. It will do a world of good for your business and trigger a viral marketing campaign on its own.
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