Google Places is an introduction by Google to page one search results. When Google identifies a user as searching for a location-based result, usually triggered by place names such as ‘London’ or ‘New York’ appearing in the search term, Google will include a Maps summary next to the main search result and will also provide some information on a few Maps results.
If your company appears at the top of a search, it will also appear in Google’s Maps summary. However, and this is the crucial part, if your company‘s Google Places profile is empty, it won’t appear at all. Google’s goal is to become the one and only global directory for both online and offline businesses; so it wants to encourage business owners to volunteer information. And for business owners to take full advantage of this all inclusive directory, they need only insure their Google Places profile is always current and correct.
Google Places exists so that businesses appear on Google Maps, your company may well already have a Google Places profile as Google is always sourcing information from other directories. Visit this page to sign in and edit the business’s profile. Fill out contact details and give a description of the business. Areas of service can also be included which will then show up in Maps and will also affect what searches the business is returned for. Opening hours, delivery charges and other useful information can be specified. Providing as much information as possible will entice users to choose you.
It is then important to claim your listing; this allows you to decide what Google can publish about your business as well as preventing anyone else changing your details. You can do this via Google’s Local Business Center login page using your current Google account login details, if you don’t already have a Google account you will need to create one. When you are shown the business you want to claim, insure all the details are completely accurate and then verify your details via phone or post.
It is paramount that all business include relevant an extensive information about who, what and where they are on the map within their Google Places profile. Ignoring the importance of Google Places will simply result in users failing to find you. On the other hand, investing some time in creating a strong Google Places profile will result in your company taking up more of the coveted page one real estate which can only have an incredibly positive impact on traffic and sales.