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How to Create a Google Places Account

Google Places has become the phone book of the Internet. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Getting your business registered and verified with Google Places is essential to being found in the search engines.  Setting up an account is easy and free!

google-places-snapshotHow to Set-up a Google Places Page (create a Google Places page for each location):

  1. Go to google.com/places.
  2. If you already have a Google Account, sign in with your email and password. You can also use an AdWords login address and password, if you have one. If you don’t have a Google Account, click Sign up for an account now, or go straight to the sign-up page.
  3. On Google Places homepage, click Add new business.
  4. On the “Find your business” tab, search for your business by phone number to see if Google already has information about your business.
    • Select the country of your business location from the drop-down.
    • Enter the phone number of your business listing.
    • Click Find business information.
  5. Review the search results, if any, to see if one of them describes your business.
    • If none of the results are related to your business, you will be prompted to add business information on the Edit Details page.
    • If none of the results is your business, click Add a new listing. You’ll be prompted to add more information on the next page.
  6. Fill out the basic information about your business. This includes:
    • Company / Organization:
      This is the official / registered name of your business.
    • Address:
      Add the street address, suite number, city, state, and zip.
    • Phone Number:
      Make sure to include the area code.
    • Website:
      Your website URL can be up to 255 characters.
    • Description:
      Try to make the description engaging and include a description of your business, the solutions you provide, etc.  Add targeted keywords to the description.
    • Categories:
      These should be keyword-focused.  Try to use the standard (pre-existing categories suggested by Google) rather than creating custom categories.  You can add up to 5 categories that best describe your business.
    • Hours of Operation
    • Payment
    • Photos:
      You can post up to 10 photos.
    • Videos:
      Upload the video to YouTube and copy and paste the URL to your Places listing. You can add up to 5 videos to your listing.
    • Additional Details:
      This is great opportunity to enter in your top keywords, brands, products, services, etc.
    • Share an Update on Your Place Page:
      You can add an update about events, specials, and more.  Example, “Live music tonight at 7pm”.  The update will stay on your Google Places listing for 30 days, if you do not remove it manually.
  7. Preview the listing and click on “Submit”.
  8. Verify Your Google Places Listing.

In order to have a listing on Google Places, your business does need to have a physical location.   You will need to verify your business with Google Places. Verification lets Google know that your business is real and that Google needs to start displaying it in the search results.  You should use a business email account and, if possible, an email account that matches your business’ website domain. Google has three options to help you verify that your business exists.

  • Verification by Phone
  • Verification by SMS
  • Verification by Mail

You will be able to see your local business listing live on Google by signing into your Google Places account and clicking “See your listing on Google”. This link will take you to your actual Place Page, as seen by users.

Encourage Your Customers to Add Reviews to Your Google Places Page

google-places-reviews

Reviews will set your listing apart and help increase your ranking in the search engines.  Ask customers to post reviews on Yelp!, CitySearch, and similar review sites to help boost your Google Place’s ranking even further.  It’s best to get a steady stream of reviews, rather than having a bunch appear all at once.

Monitor Your Google Places Page Analytics

You can review statistics by going to your Google Places Dashboard.  Here you will find activity info, impressions, actions taken by users, top search queries, and where driving directions request are coming from.

Related posts:

How to Utilize Local Search
How to Increase Your Web Site’s Inbound Links
8 Reasons Why Businesses Should be Using Social Media

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