Google Places and Why It Can Help You Attract More Clients

What is Google Places? It’s a huge directory of businesses created by Google. These place pages are available for both online and offline businesses, and show up when you search for a business.

Google places sample

Have you did a local search lately and noticed the red icons with letters A-G? These listings also have reviews of the business from customers, and the phone number and address listed. Have you noticed how your organic listings are being pushed down below these listings? This is the new search format for localized listings. These listings at the top with the red icons are called Google places and they also tie into Google maps.

The Future of Local Search is Mobile

Only 5% of business who have claimed their Google Places Page have added a mobile coupon to their local listing.

There is a huge opportunity for your business to jump ahead of the competition. More and more local searches are now being conducted, not on desktops but on smart phones. So as technology moves forward we have to stay ahead of the competition to. The release of the iPhone 4S is the game changer, here’s why…

The iPhone S4 comes with Siri voice recognition integrated into its operating system. This in short means it can answer questions and perform actions across multiple Apps. With a single voice command, Siri can control Apps and search Google Places Maps.

This will revolutionize local mobile search, making it both simpler and user friendly. By simply speaking a command like ‘florist near me’ Siri uses your geo-targeted location to perform a local search of florists in your immediate area leveraging the Google Places Maps database of local businesses. It will also search for listings and reviews from other sites like Yelp and City Search.

It delivers a list of results from within the App, then allows the smart phone user to speak another command ‘get directions’.

So to ensure your local search listing gets picked up by Siri it is now more important then ever to ensure your Google Places Page is fully completed with your company name, address, telephone number and website.

You should be in the correct categories and include the keywords your customers use to find you such as Orthodontist or Florist. The description field should also be SEO friendly and include your keywords, photos named with your keywords and videos have your name address and telephone number in their description (and hosted on Youtube).

Still not sure if you need to be on Google Places?

Lets look at some interesting local search marketing facts and figures about Google Places and the future of local search:

- 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.

- Google dominate as the primary site used to search for local businesses with 74% market share.

- 59% of consumers report using Google every month to look for a good local business.

- 71% of searchers report they value the information provided in local search results.