Google Places and Geo-Targeted Online Marketing
November 10, 2010
In Spring 2010, Google launched the feature Google Places, which puts a better spin on their pre-existing Google Local Business Center (LBC). Places is essentially the same as Local Listings in that it gives businesses the opportunity to get listed on maps within Google’s local search results, giving consumers access to their location, hours, phone number, etc. This more brandable spin on the LBC has allowed the search engine to bring a new face to the tool while also introducing new features, ultimately making the tool more user-friendly. For example, businesses are now capable of listing the different areas that they service, rather than being limited to one main location. They can also include multiple links (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to their listing in order to help increase online visibility and push their social networking initiatives. These are just two of the many new features that Places has launched over the last year.
At the end of the day, Google Places is really just another way for Google to keep up with the increasingly more geo-targeted social networking sites (Facebook Places, Foursquare, Twitter and Yelp) however it is a great tool and it is important that business keep up with the trend. According to Google, web users spend one million hours browsing its maps and earth products every day. So what does that mean if you are not listed in Google Places? It means that you are missing out on a lot of business. Places makes it easy for everyone to set up their business online by simply going to Google.com/Places. And while you’re at it, make sure to check-in to your business location using Facebook Places, Yelp, and Foursquare – this will give your business more visibility as people check-in to locations in your area. Keeping up with these quick and easy online marketing trends is a great way to enhance your local business.