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Google Places for Business

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Google Places for Business relate to the local listings you see in search results as highlighted below. It’s a combination of both a map and listings with corresponding ‘pins’. The listings are usually high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) so it’s vital your business appears in these listings.

There are a number of factors that are needed to ensure a business is included in the listings. Which we will cover in this article.

Google Local Results

Brick and Mortar Businesses

Does your business have a physical address in the area that you service or is your business an online only entity? Google will list On-line businesses within the search results but it’s a more complicated procedure to achieve.

If you have a brick and mortar premises this is the first step to claiming your business listing, if you have a web only business, but service a particular area, this could be the whole of the UK or just a particular region you can still get your business listed in Google Places.
Remember with the introduction of Google Hummingbird, users will be searching with an increased amount intent. Longer tail phrases are coming from Vocal and Mobile search which is on the increase, so having Google Places set up now is more relevant.

Serviced Areas

If your business visits its customers you have the option to enter the distance your willing to travel from a Postcode you ‘Service’.
The other option is to enter a regional territory to your service ie: ‘Kent’. This would mean any one searching ‘Plumbers in Kent’ would find you, but ‘Plumbers in Sussex’ would not.

Google Places Serviced Areas

So before you start, here’s the Verve checklist:

• Have all your Google details to hand, if you’re a larger company you might want to have a dedicated Google login for all company Google services, so think before assigning things to your personal Google account.
• Have some relevant images and videos to add to your listing, the richer the content the more chance you’ll have of getting clicks.
• If you have multiple locations you’ll need multiple descriptions to enter in, so make sure you have the copy ready.
• Be prepared to update your business with relevant news to keep your listing fresh.

Claiming a business listing for a brick and Mortar business.

1. You need to make sure you are logged into your Google account that you want linked to your places page. A tip from Google is think if you want others to access this account or you want to transfer ownership of the page, maybe use a separate Google account for this.
2. Type in your business name and location into Google. i.e. Verve Search Surbiton.
3. Click on the link on the right hand side of the page below the business listing, either claim this listing or ‘Are you the business owner?’
4. Now you should be on the page where you can edit your listing, add photos and videos, opening times, add some copy about the services you offer and so on.
There is a really important reason why every business should do this. Your listing will appear on the first page of Google for search terms that you would otherwise never be able to achieve. This can make a huge difference to how people find your Website.

Some Important points to remember when you’re entering you data:

Always make sure you use the same format in entering your address and phone number. Google is clever, but if it finds a discrepancy in the address and the phone number format it might list two different businesses or Google will assign different citations / links to different listings, which can cause your business to lose its position or authority. This can be referred to as your NAP details, Name, Address, Phone number.
I.E don’t make changes like entering your phone number in different formats:

Google Telephone Alternatives

Stick to one format for all your NAP details and Google won’t get all confused.
• The same format for your company NAP details also applies to any listing of your business anywhere on the web! As Google looks for local references to your business you need to make sure it picks up the correct listing to apply to your business.

• The listing doesn’t occur over night- it can take weeks for your account to finally be listed, so have patience!