Define who you are on Google Places
So you’ve created your Google Account, signed up for a new business listing, and received your verification via snail-mail. Great! That was the first step. Now, you need to strategically set yourself apart from the competition by defining whom you are and what your business has to offer so that those conducting a local-Houston-area search will find your place page when they need you. Google Places offers several ways to do this but you have to login to your account first to make the desired changes.
View and Verify Your Local Listing
Once logged onto your listing, you’ll notice one of three labels: Edit this place, Business Owner, and Owner-verified listing; each of these indicates a certain status for your listing. If Edit this place appears, it means you need to correct inaccurate information on the listing by clicking the link, correcting the information, and clicking Publish to save the changes. If Business Owner appears, you can click on it to verify your listing; once verified, you can enrich your page by adding photos, videos, and real-time information updates to ensure your listing information is as current as possible. If Owner-Verified Listing appears, it means you (as the business owner) have verified the page and are consistently updating it to make sure all information is current and accurate, which is how you want the listing to be!
Google loves Pictures, Videos and More
While updating your information, you can also upload up to 5 videos and 10 photos for each listing; additionally, you can remove files you may have uploaded on-the-fly when you originally signed-up for your listing. These files can be used to feature your business storefront and showcase you and your staff in action and other business-related activities. You can even upload a menu, if you are a restaurant or bar that is, which can come in handy for someone trying to decide where they want to go for a late-night snack in the Montrose-Area; that alone could steer business in your direction.
A great bonus: Coupons!
Who doesn’t like a good deal? By logging into your Google Places account, you can design, preview, and post printable coupons for whatever specials you might be offering your customers at any given time! Once logged in, click on the Coupons tab and select Add new coupon. Have fun experimenting with the layout, fields, and information you want to include in your coupon. Click on Continue once you are satisfied with the preview; the coupon should appear on your listing within one business day.
And if your customers come back repeatedly to check out your current deals—which is a sign they liked what they experienced the first, second, or third time, you can rest assured they will be telling their friends to do the very same thing! Good experiences and referrals (not to mention the ensuing buzz) are what will cause your business to flourish, which leads to the next aspect of your listing that can make you or break you: Reviews.
Stay tuned for our next posting, which will describe the types and sources of reviews your listing can get and—most importantly—how they can benefit you and your business.