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Why you should care about Google Places

June 21, 2011

Google places is a service Google offers to businesses around the world. Add your business to places, Google says invitingly.

Google places get your business found people like to shareGet your business found on Google, says Google. What they are saying is this: as people begin to search more and more with their handheld Android devices, they will use Google. Google will use Google Places to return results.

People might search “best chinese food” or “best beer selection”, or “best patio” on Google. Google, being Google, will most-likely try to return a place.

Five ways to do more than just claim your place. 

If you agree that many people search Google, and you agree that being found on places is important (and it is), then here are five things you can do.

1. Claim your business on Places.
This is somewhat expected. If you don’t claim your business, you can’t take advantage of the next four.

2. Completely fill it out.
If your business already exists on Google Places, claim it and then edit it. And when editing the listing, fill it out completely. That means adding:

  • An image to the images
  • Video to the listing
  • Adding hours
  • Add as many categories as possible
3. Update it.
Google rates blogs really high in organic search. One speculation is that blogs get Google Juice because they are constantly updated. A blog (like this one), is updated way more often than a general website. Google likes things that are updated. Update your listing on a regular basis and you’re telling google that you care. Google likes it when you care.
4. Ask for people to give a review.
Invite customers, clients, members, or whatever to review your place of business. You don’t want to give them an incentive, but you do want to ask. Ask for the order. It can’t hurt, and the asking will update your Place. Remember, Google likes that.
5. Advertise your place. 
Sign up for Google Adwords. Drive people to your Place with keywords as well.
Google Places is another example of a website. Claim it, and it will be on a map. Maps are things that are searchable, and easy to find on emerging mobile devices.
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