In our last blog post on the topic of making your business accessible online, we gave a general overview of the techniques you can use to help potential customers find your real world store location using the Internet. This time, as promised, we will hone in on Google Places. Google Places allows you to create a free listing on Google Maps so that when potential customers search Maps for information or directions to your location, they’ll find your business easily. Not only that but they will be able to find out information about your business such as: your physical address, hours of operation and photos of your store.
Google Places is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help people find your bricks-and-mortar location. Its also free and easy to set up. Here is step-by-step guide to help you do so.
Step One – Get a Google Account
You dont need to have a website to take advantage of Google Places but you do need to have a Google account in order to get set up. If you have a gmail address then you can use that, if not, click here to go through the process of setting up your account and password details.
Step Two – Sign up for Places
Google Places allows you to place you business location on Google Maps. It makes it easier for people to find your location and easier for prospects to connect with you. To add your listing go the Google business centre, enter the details as prompted. First you are asked to enter the country and phone number. You will then be prompted to enter your basic information: Company name, address, postal code, email and phone information; then more detailed information such as hours of operation, type of business category and photos and videos of your location. You can also add custom details. Your listing will be previewed in Google Maps on the right hand side of your screen.
Step 3 – Verification
Once you have completed this process, Google will verify your details. They do this either by phone (they usually call you back to verify your information within a couple of days) or you can have the verification information send by snail mail to your address, if you prefer. Enter the verification code to complete the process. Your Google listing should appear on Places within a few hours.
Step 4 – Monitor
Google Place provides some rudimentary tools to allow you to measure impressions and actions for your listing. It is useful to keep an eye on this from time-to-time.
Step 5 – Promote
Google also allows you to promote your products or services using print or digital coupons that offer in-store discounts, giving customers further incentive to visit your physical location.
Google Maps is often the first place people go these days when trying to locate an address. Ensuring your location is listed there enhances the likelihood that potential customers will make it to your door.