Google Places Optimisation

If someone was offering your business a FREE website which ranked highly in search results when your local customers looked for your products and services wouldn’t you want to know about it?

If someone had made a map listing for your business so that customers could find their way to your door wouldn’t you want to know about it?

If someone had created an online place where customers could leave positive or negative reviews about your business which were highly visible – wouldn’t you want to know about it?

Well it already exists and it’s called Google Places.

Yet, unbelievably, only 3% of Australian businesses have claimed their Google listing!

Now, what if your small business could:

  • Claim your Google Places Listing
  • Optimise your Listing for Search Visibility
  • Convert Leads into Sales

What business wouldn’t be interested in this?

Well, read on…because even if you have a small business already claimed and listed on Google Places, chances are it’s not working as well for you as it should and our Google Places Optimisation service can help.

For those of you who don’t yet know about Google Places we’ll show you exactly what it is and how important it is to your overall online marketing strategy.

What is Google Places?

You have almost definitely seen Google Places before, even if you didn’t recognise it.

When you make a search for [placename] + [service] eg ‘Redcliffe landscaper’ Google knows you are looking for a local service and will trigger search results which are hyper local – giving you a business listing section on the results page with a corresponding map showing the area and the location of the returned businesses.

SCREEN CAPTURE

Approx ⅓ of all searches fall into this local category – that is a lot of searches.

These are Google Places listings and are incredible important due to their visibility and the fact that they appear above the normal search results.

You really really want to be in these listings because it is where people in your local area, who are ready right that instant to pick up the phone and call or visit, will be clicking.

If you are not high up the Google Places listing you are missing out on business and it is costing you money – absolutely no doubt about it!

The Basics of Google Places

There are 3 basic steps to setting up a Google Places listing. For it to be effective you first have to “claim” your listing, then complete it accurately and also optimise it.

Do Google Know Something You Don’t?

Search is becoming more local and more based upon mobile smartphones and tablets
A recent Telstra study said that by the end of 2011 over 50% of Australian mobile phone owners would have smartphones.

That means that they have phones capable of accessing the Internet

That means that they are using their phones to search for local goods and services.

Do you see where we are going here?

People are using their phones to search for goods and services through Google – the main search engine – and they just happen to offer a Google Places service that lists your business name, services, address, contact details and other details! And these local listings get preferred results ranking over non-local results…..

…….Is it possible that Google know something that your business has, so far, missed?

Well, the good news is it’s not too late…the boat hasn’t left the pier yet and there’s still time for you to get on!

How Does a Small Business Benefit from Optimised Google Places?

Where do we start?

  • All Internet users – whether PC-based or from their smartphones – can find out in a couple of clicks where your business is and what it offers
  • An optimised Google Places listing will show up at the TOP of the search results page and can DOMINATE results for your chosen keywords. Google Places links are high profile,as you would expect from the Google search engine.
  • It will attract QUALIFIED LOCAL LEADS that are searching for your goods and services and are ready to buy!
  • This is FREE online marketing for your small business!
  • Few businesses have successfully optimised their listings – you can get a HEAD START on your competitors by doing that now!
  • This marketing has NO EXPIRY DATE – it’s good for as long as Google Places and your business is around!
  • If your small business has several locations then you can set up several listings
  • It will drive more qualified traffic to your web site that can be converted to sales
  • If the user is on a smartphone and has found you through local search, if you have a mobile-friendly web page too, you can set the landing page up with a ONE-CLICK CALL option from their phone to your business.
  • In short Local Search Engine Optimisation with Google Places is perhaps the most important thing you can do for your small business at present.

SCREEN CAPTURE – Dominating Search Results!

“I already Have a Google Places Listing”

The difference between a Google Places listing and an optimised Google Places listing is massive.

One will pretty much sit there, like an un-optimised web page  – getting a few visitors who manage to stumble upon your page by accident or via a specific search for your business name.

The other one will be dynamic – like an optimised web page built around keywords that people search for – driving traffic their way.

An optimised Google Places listing will drive local customers to your business, giving you more hot leads and more sales. People coming to your business via Google Places are generally easy to convert to sales as they have already searched for your specific goods or services and are in buying mood.

Common Mistakes with Google Places

Businesses without specialist knowledge of Google Places or who rush it, often make the following mistakes:

  • They duplicate their local listings
  • They include inaccurate or inconsistent information in their local listings
  • They do not “claim” their local listings
  • They do not understand how to manage listing for multiple locations

I Don’t quite Understand – Can Your Give Me a Real-World Example?

My friends and I are visiting Margate and looking for a good restaurant. I search from my smartphone for “restaurants Margate Brisbane” and get sent back a whole host of restaurant results. I only look at the first few at the top of the page, as usual.

How do I choose? Well some of them come back with maps ( those with Google Maps listings) and, because we don’t know the area, these stand out above the other ones.

I click on a couple of them – both Italian restaurants. The first one has the address, a basic description and a contact number; the second one has a more detailed description, a sample of the menu, details about opening hours and parking, plus a few customer reviews which seem favourable. Which one am I going to choose?

The above hightlights two key things with Google Places:

  1. You have to be in it to win it – all those businesses that didn’t have a listing lost out on my business.
  2. The optimised listing stood out above the basic listing – and that drove me to their restaurant for a slap-up meal for 4 where we spent $200!

Is the above scenario far-fetched? Not at all! It’s happening everywhere in Australia every day and increasingly so – for all goods and services.

With the rise of social media sites and recommendations coming from there too, a lot of online marketing is converging and Australian small businesses need to be aware of these trends to take advantage of the opportunities they present.

How Much Does Google Charge?

The service is free.

So How Come You Charge?

To claim and set up your business on Google Places is free and it’s easy. To really optimise a listing and leverage it to the hilt  is not so easy.

This is some of the most important online real estate that you can get your hands on and ‘playing’ around with it can see other more determined listings climb above yours.

They will get more clicks and they will get more business.

Of course there is a DIY option… Of course you can do that yourself and we even show you how in our free eBook.

Many small businesses can see the advantages of an optimised Google Places listing but don’t have the expertise to set it up themselves, nor the time to learn how – and that’s where we come in. Our team can optimise a small business on Google Places very easily and quickly.

Why Redcliffe Marketing Labs?

  • We are Experts in Local Search
  • We are Experts in SEO
  • We are Experts in Online Marketing
  • We Make it our Business to know what Google are Looking For and to stay on top of search and Internet marketing trends
  • We Give Priority to Local Small Business as we are Redcliffe residents ourselves
  • In fact we Love helping local Redcliffe business achieve their online goals

What Next?

So you’ve decided that you need to go ahead and start reaping the benefits of local search for your small business rather than let your competition have a free lunch at your expense!

The Google Places Local Search eBook is available HERE.

Or you can leave it to the professionals – Mick and the team at Redcliffe Marketing labs will handle the claiming, the posting and the optimisation of your Google Places listing.

Email them now at: [email protected] to set up a time to meet.