What do we do here?
Well, we assist small, medium and large businesses throughout Eastern and Central Missouri take control of the Google Places listings. These are also known as Google Maps or Google Local.
What is that and why is it important?
Google Places is something they started working on a few years ago now. Basically Google scoured multiple databases to discover the location information, address, phone numbers and pertinent information about businesses in each local market. Originally this was done to beef up the usefulness of Google Maps, so people could type in the name of a business and get its address and a map of how to get there.
Once they had all of this data they published individual pages for each of these businesses, making them a completely free advertising outlet. Think of it like the Yellow Pages, only free and on the web.
Nowadays these Google Places listings have grown to be a place where Google users can find out additional details about a business, leave or read reviews from others who have frequented the businesses, view pictures of the venue, watch video productions, etc, etc.
Why is it important that businesses take control of their Google Places listing?
The reasons are numerous, but probably the most important is that the business has zero control over putting their best foot forward until and unless they do.
If you haven't claimed your listing yet:
- You can't respond to either positive or negative reviews.
- You can't do a thing about it if a picture that doesn't represent your business in its best light gets uploaded and tied to your Places page.
- You can't make sure your map location is correct.
- You can't do anything with your Places page at all. And you certainly cannot utilize it to bring more business into the fold.
How hard is it to claim your Google Places listing?
They've thankfully made it very easy, and prety darned secure. Armed with the information in how to do it, typically you'd spend from an hour to maybe 3 hours from start to finish to get your spot in Google Places claimed. In other words, it's not rocket science.
Should you do more with it? Possibly.
Claiming your Places page puts you back in control of what may be the first exposure customers have to your business. This may or may not get your name out there on the first page of Google when someone does a more generic search from their home PC, smart phone, tablet or vehicle GPS system.
For many smaller businesses claiming the Places page is enough. It is certainly a necessary start.
For other businesses, there may be a need to look into optimizing your Places page, to make it much more likely your business appears among the first few listed. And yes that's something we can help with also. Either by doing it on your behalf, or giving you a relatively short and easy list of actions to take to give your listing a better shot at a great ranking. The optimizing is more time consuming for sure, but most of it is common sense stuff. As a general rule to claim and intially optimize your Places page you should allow 2-8 hours, depending upon the complexity of your business and what data you already have or need to produce.
If you want us to do all of this for you our rates are $500 per location that needs to be claimed and optimized. If you have more than 10 locations or listings that need to be claimed, contact us as we can arrange a bulk submission, and a bulk discount.
With this we claim your Places listing, verify all information is accurate, and do all of the basic and moderate optimization that will typically get your page a prime ranking position in fairly short order. Being a small business ourselves there is a limit to the number of active clients we can work with at any given point in time. And we're sensitive to this, so this particular package isn't always available.
Here's the real key though...
Whether you choose one of our packages or do the research and do it all on your own, it is vitally important that you claim your business' Google Places listing ASAP. You really do want to get it claimed before something negative happens with it, because it's much harder to fix if you wait until after the damage is done to take control.