How often do you Google a local business in your area? Your customers are doing the same thing with your grocery store on a regular basis, so it’s important for you to be able to control what they see when they Google your store. But how do you do that? How do you manage the information that comes up on the most popular online search engine? The answer is: Google Places.
Google Places allows you to list the exact location and address of your store on a map in Google, with all relevant store information to help your customers find you when they are not only looking specifically for your store but also when they are looking for specific services your business provides.
According to Google, “simply being listed gives you a boost in rankings for your main website and therefore leads to more traffic.”
Google gives you the option to include as much or as little about your business as you want on your Google Places listing. This includes coupons, special offers, videos, images, opening hours and preferred payment methods. Including all of this information in one place on your search results makes the entire experience easier for your customer.
The most important reason to claim your Google Places listing is to ensure that nobody else claims it and edits your store information. Search engine optimization is crucial in the digital age. Not claiming your listing on Google leaves it open to be claimed by an anonymous person who can do anything they want to your listing. This can be very damaging to your business.
You can see the full list of benefits to claiming your Google Places listing here, but some of the highlights include:
- High search engine results.
- Improved customer satisfaction.
- Integrates with other online marketing efforts.
- Accurate, up-to-date information readily available.
- Allows you to show up in Google Maps.
- Can include special offers and printable coupons.
- More people search for businesses online than anywhere else and Google Places is a superb way to put yours in front of them.
- Google Places beats any offline marketing method for your business in terms of ROI.
- You can surge past more established websites within your market with a Google Places listing so that a first page listing on Google is far more easily achievable.
- You will be far more visible to the vast majority of users of both Android and iPhones who are searching for businesses within a 5km radius.
- Provided your listing is set up properly, you can achieve all of the above within an impressively short period of time.
As an independent retailer, the biggest benefit is being able to compete with larger corporations with your Google listing. Customers searching in the area might already know the big name grocery stores in their neighborhood but are looking to “shop local.” That’s where your Google Places listing comes in. If you optimize your listing, you could end up coming up on a search engine above a large corporate grocery store chain.
As Google points out, “Google Places is one online tool no local business owner can afford to ignore.”
Google makes it very easy to claim and verify your listing so you can manage and edit it when you need to. Start here and they will walk you through the whole process.