Did you know that when you do a search in a major search engine like Google, that the default results you now receive are local results?
Google treats certain search terms like “Restaurant” or “Cinema” as local search terms. It automatically assumes that you want a local search result and tries to find businesses local to you. “Photographer” is such a term in the eyes of Google. Chances are, if you type this phrase into Google right now, you’ll see three different types of result:
Local search results are driven by Google Places, which is becoming an increasingly important element of the online marketing mix for small businesses. If you have a business, you need to make sure that it is relevant to local search results.
Google Places is a free tool provided to us by Google that means we can literally “put our business on the Google map”. This should be the first step in promoting any local business online. Think of it as a free, mini website provided by Google so that it can direct local searchers to our businesses. If you don’t have a Google Places page, check out this video on Google Places and learn more right now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpZan96KHOM
As Web use becomes increasingly mobile, being on the Google map will only become more important because Google map data is used by many mobile applications.
On your Google Places page you can display your contact and website details, add your business to the Google map, include descriptive text, categorise your business for search, add up to 10 pictures and 5 videos, illustrate opening hours, special offers and even collect reviews from happy customers.
It’s free and can yield great results fast, particularly for those who take the time to upload images and video to their Google Places page and those who can encourage their happy customers to write positive reviews for them on their page.
A key tip to remember if you want to appear in Google Local search results is to ensure you embed a Google map on the contact page on your website and that your business location (including town, postcode and county) is easily found on most pages – consider an area in the footer of your Web pages for your business address on every page.
If you want to learn more about how you can get the most out of Google Places and other Google tools, ask one of our Search Engine Marketing Management team today on 0845 456 1022 about our upcoming training courses.
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