Google Places is one of the best free advertising options available.
It is like an online business directory. As a business owner, you can upload your business information, and even include pictures and videos. Additionally, you can use your Google Places account to offer coupons or announce specials. Basically, it’s a free way to communicate with people and attract new customers.
Once you sign up for Google Places, your listing will show up when people search for keywords related to your niche. Additionally, people who have already used your business can leave reviews. The more review you get, the higher you can move up in the Google Places directory. Thus, if you end up with 100 positive reviews, you could end up sitting at the top of the hierarchy. At that point, you can expect to receive lots more traffic.
Signing Up for Google Places
You can sign up for Google Places by going to http://www.google.com/local/add/analyticsSplashPage?pli=1 and clicking “List Your Business.”
You’ll fill out a form and create your Google Places directory listing. Be sure to include lots of relevant keywords, as well as pictures. Also, if you have any videos that are relevant to your business, upload them. Remember, you want your listing to stand out, so you really need to go above and beyond when creating your profile.
Once you create your listing, you’ll have to validate it. You can’t do this immediately. Google will actually mail you a postcard that has a pin number on it. After you receive the post card, you can validate your listing. At that point, your listing will be live, which means potential customers will be able to see it.
In the meantime, though, you can familiarize yourself with the Google Places dashboard.
Google Places Dashboard
The Google Places dashboard gives people access to:
- AdWords Express
AdWords Express is a version of AdWords. As you might know, AdWords is a pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising platform. Ads display in search results and on some websites. If someone clicks on your ad, he’ll be redirected to your website.
If you have active AdWords Express ads, you can use the dashboard to monitor them.
You can use the “Offers” tab to add offers to your listing. If you have some coupons or want to offer a discount, go to this tab and click “Add an Offer Now.” Then, you’ll need to fill out information related to your offer. Be sure to add an image to your offer so it jumps out at readers.
You’ll only need to use the “Billing” tab if you are running ads with AdWords Express. If you are, you can use this tab to edit your payment options or review your billing history.
Now that you know the basics, you’re ready to get started. Sign up for Google Places today, and then keep an eye out for the postcard from Google. Then, you can validate your account and start benefiting from this amazing free service.