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Google Places for Local Businesses

Set up Your Google Places Page

Local businesses are always searching for inexpensive ways to promote their businesses and attract new customers. One advertising avenue that is open to all businesses is to have a Google Places page.

What is Google Places?

When local consumers search for local products and services online, businesses can show up high in the search results with a well-optimized Google Places page. According to Google, 1 in 5 searches includes a “Location,” which prompted them to create Google Local. In July 2010, Google Local was renamed as Google Places.

Google Places comprises of lists of local businesses that offer services & products that consumers search for online.

Therefore, having a claimed, verified, high-ranking Google Places listing is now crucial to every local business.

What Does a Sample Google Place Page Look Like?

A Google Places page links to a Google Map and displays a list of companies in the area that offer services or products based on search terms.

For instance, if a search is made for "personal injury lawyers in Madison" then all of the websites listing Personal Injury Lawyers within that area will be displayed with website information, short reviews, pictures related to them.

Here is a sample showing how Google Places shows up in search results:


4 Key Google Places Ranking Factors:

  1. The proximity of the business to the center of the specified search location.
  2. The general SEO rating of the business listing in the Google index.
  3. The quality of the citations that exist online for the business in all of the local directories.
  4. The quantity of the customer reviews that are on the business’s Google Places page.


Claiming and Verifying Your Listing

The most vital step in the process of claiming your page is to verify that you are actually the owner of the Places page.

  1. Navigate to Google My Business and click "START NOW" to login with Gmail account to continue to set up your business listing on Google.
  2. Enter your Business Name, County / Region, Street Address, Full City Name, ZIP code, State, Main Business Phone and pick the appropriate Category that matches your business. Ensure all the information provided is accurate and consistent across the web.
  3. After entering these details, click "Continue" to confirm that you are authorised to complete the listing which will create Google+ business page.
  4. Once you complete the business listing, the next step is to verify your business information. Verification can be done by several methods like Verify by Postcard, Verify by Email and Verify by Phone. Use the link below to find the instruction for verification.
  5. Once your business listing has been verified, you can manage your business information and listing on Google+ page.

The Importance of Citations and Customer Reviews

Once you have claimed your Google Places page, the next step is to make sure that it is ranked high enough to be shown in the search results.

Two factors that play a part in this process are:

  1. Citations
  2. Customer Reviews

Citations: Citations are the references to your business and its products or services that are found on the various local directories like SuperPages.com and Yellowpages.com.

Customer Reviews: Google also considers the number of customer reviews you have when ranking your listing. In fact, the more reviews you have, the better.


The Difference Between a Google Plus Local & Business Page

  • A default Google+ Local page (what was formerly Google Places) will ONLY have a “write a review” button
  • A non-merged Google+ Business page will ONLY have a “follow” button
  • A merged Google+ page will have BOTH the “follow” and the “write a review” button.

Here's more about this:


1. Google + Local Page

A sample Google Plus Local Page is shown here:

sample google places


2. Google + Business Page

A sample Google Plus Business Page is shown here:

sample google places


3. Merged Google + Business Page

A sample Merged Google Plus Business Page is shown here:

sample google places

In order to upgrade a local Google + page to a merged business page we just need to follow the following steps:

  1. Claim the local listing
  2. Manage/edit business details
  3. Verify the business


Get Your Business Google+ Page Set Up Correctly

A big part of establishing your website is making sure that you have social media accounts and that you're friends with the search engines. Besides getting set up with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, you want to establish your business website's connection with Google+ so that you have control over your business information and reviews that people post about your business or organization.

There have been a number of changes with how Google+ Business pages were set up. To ensure that your page is set up correctly, have Webstix verify that everything is done the right way. With this service, we will:

  • Look up your Google+ page
  • Properly claim the page and set up a Google account for you if necessary.
  • Setting up Google+ page completely so that it's optimized
  • Help with PIN verification
  • Optimize the verified Google+ page
  • Add a customized cover image that matches your website and business

We will take care of all of this for you so that your customers see a business listing that's set up properly and so that you get maximum benefits.

To get this done, you can either buy this service here for $230 or if you have Maintenance Blocks in your account, you can submit your request to our team and ask for this to be done for 4 blocks (discounted if you pre-pay).


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