Google Places – Getting Your Business On the Map
Much like their main search index, Google Local is the most popular local search engine out there with current estimates (at the time of this writing) providing Google between 65-70% of the search market share. Being in Google Places makes sure that your business is on the map, literally.
Getting Into Google Places for Inclusion in Google Maps and Google Main for Local Search Results:
Much like their main search index, Google Local is the most popular local search engine out there with current estimates (at the time of this writing) providing Google between 65-70% of the search market share.
When we say local search engine, we mean submitting a search query using a search engine to find a product or service that is usually delivered locally. Searches results from searches performed on Google Maps or Google’s main or primary search engine are sourced from Google Places’ business listings. Google Places was originally called Google Local but was re branded Google Places in mid 2010.
Lets start out with two examples:
Example one, search for Lawyer, Albany, NY from Google.com, sometimes referred to as the Google “main”or “primary” search engine. The follow search results are returned:
You can see from the search results that Google understands the local intent of the search given the location information provided (in this example, Albany, NY) and the local search results are integrated into the Google Search results where A, B are locations that are in view of the screen shot and on the right side, we can see a map with a number of search results for local lawyers.
All of the local search results are sourced from Google Places business listings.
In the second example, we will begin the same search (Lawyer, Albany NY) but start our search from Google Maps.
The Google Maps Search Results are overlay ed on a local map and represented with letter push pins that correspond to listings in the left margin. Again, these business listings were sourced from Google Places. Hopefully you are begenning to see how important it is to have a business listing in Google Places to “put your business on the map.”
Google Places Add Your Business Listing – Step by Step HowTo
2. If you already have a Google Account, sign in with your email and password. If you have a gmail account, then you can use that login/password combination.
3. If you don’t have a Google Account, click sign-up page and create a Google account as this is required to create your Google Places business listing.
4. Note: Planning is important as Google Places accounts are not transferable. For shared accounts, consider creating a shared Google account that you would be comfortable providing others access.
5. Check for your business by searching on your business phone number. Phone number is the search key that Google Places uses to check its database to see if the business associated with that phone number is in the Google Places Database.
6. If your business is listed as one of the search results, click Edit. If you did not find your business listing in the search results, you will be presented the option to Add new business starting with adding Basic Information.
7. Fill out the basic information about your business. This includes:
- Company/Organization: This is the official/registered name of your business.
- Address (required): The address should look exactly the way you’d write it on a standard mailing envelope. If you are a service-area business, you’ll be able to hide your address in a few steps.
- Phone Number (required): Be sure to include the area code with your phone number.
- Website: Your website URL can be a maximum of 255 characters.
- Categories: Enter several categories to describe your business, to make it easier for others to find when they search Google. Google will automatically suggest categories as you type. Make sure you choose one Google-suggested category before adding customizable categories. You can enter up to 5 categories for your business.
8. Enter additional business details, including:
- Hours of operation: Select your hours of operation using the drop down menus. If would prefer not to specify your hours of operation, keep the radio button selected next to “I prefer not to specify operating hours.”
- Payment options: Select the checkboxes next to the payment methods that your business accepts.
9. Add rich media such as business photos, videos and additional details to your business listing, then hit submit:
- Photos: Use the photo up loader to add a photo from your computer, or specify a URL to add a photo from the web. You can add up to 10 photos to your listing. To learn more about adding photos, check out the User Guide.
- Videos: To add a video, upload it to YouTube and copy and paste the URL to your Places listing. You can add up to 5 videos to your listing. For help with uploading your video to YouTube, read the article on how to upload a video in the YouTube Help Center.
- Additional details: Use this section to add custom information fields to your listing. For example, parking availability, or whether your business allows pets. Learn more about useful custom attributes to add to your listing.
10. You can preview your listing as it will appear in Maps on the right side of your screen. New information will appear in the preview as you enter it. When you’re satisfied with your listing, click Submit at the bottom of the page.
11. Choose how you would like to verify your listing and click Finish.
Note: Phone verification is real-time and verification by post card sent via the USPS can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks. This verification step is designed to protect business owners against a non-owner creating or manipulating a business owners listing without the owners consent.