If you don’t know what Google Places is, and you have a local business or even a business servicing a particular region, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of search engine traffic to your website.
Google places collects information from around the web and marks businesses on a map. The information comes from a variety of sources: Yellow Pages, Yahoo Business, Truelocal and others. What this means is, if your business has a phone number and address listed with any major online directory, you probably have a Google Places listing already.
But, my experience with the dozens of Google Places listings I have claimed for my clients tells me most of the listings are basic with outdated or inaccurate informatoin.
The Google Places listings are the results often shown at the top of the Google page with a map and red markers like this one.
Having accurate and up to date information in this prime position can be critical to the results you get.
(Click on the image to view it full size)
To claim and update your Google Places listing –
- Go to www.google.com/places
- Select the blue button on the right “Get Started Now”
- Sign in with your Google Account (or sign up if you don’t have one)
- Select your country and enter your phone number
The results screen will show any business listed with the phone number you entered. From here you can edit the business listing or add a new listing.
Your Google Places listing can have photos, videos, email address, link to your website and additional information such as services, opening hours and payment types.
To acivate your updated listing you will need a PIN, sent to you by Google. This can take a couple of weeks to come through but after it’s active you can update it as often as you like and unless you change the primary contact details you won’t need a PIN again.