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Google Places is a listing that has advantages for every kind of business. Whether you focus on both online and in-person customers or you limit your selling to your physical location, you can grow your business with the help of Google Places.

The Benefits of Google Places

Being listed in Google Places helps you position your company as a leader in your industry. It can put you at the top of the list against your competition. You also limit the number of competitors to those in your local area unlike if you were to concentrate on the main Google search engine and have to compete against everybody in your field. While certain industries will enjoy more benefits, the time spent setting up your business on Google Places will be worthwhile for any company.

Getting Listed on Google Places

You will either need to set up a Google account or sign in to it to access Google Places. You will also have to agree to the terms and begin adding information about your business. It will ask you the business name and address, phone number, and the category of the business. You can also check a box that tells Google Places that you service customers at their location.

You will have to verify your business with Google. This can be done by phone, by text, or by mail. Depending on your circumstance, certain verification options may not be available. Though it may not be convenient anymore, Google says postcard is the best way to verify the business. Google walks you through that process, but it is something that can be done at a later time rather than during setup. You can also create an ad with AdWords Express. You will enter the details about your business during this process. It is important to note that while you can add all of the information, none of it will be visible until you have verified your business. This ensures that you are the owner of your company and that you exist where you say you do. It is another way that Google helps protect users from unscrupulous people or scam artists.

Optimize Your Business

Just like with the regular Google search engine, you will want to optimize your listing so that it will show at the top of search results. There are a few ways to achieve this:

  • Make sure you complete all of the fields and include complete information. This includes business hours, contact information, and other data.
  • Include high-quality photos of your business or products.
  • Increase your number of reviews on Google+.
  • Use keywords within your listing that people would use when searching for your type of business.
  • Include your listing on your website and in your email with your signature.

As more people move to mobile devices and doing searches while they are away from their desk, local businesses will benefit from listings geared towards specific locations. Every business should take the time to create a listing on Google Places. If you check, your competition is probably already on there. If not, you can bet they soon will be or they will wish they were once you are listed and taking all of the customers away from them. No business can afford to ignore the value of online listings even if their customer base is local.