Paying a little attention to google pays off big for local business

Posted by Keith Jolie on Monday, October 29, 2012 Under: local business
So by now we've all probably realized that Google has taken the lead over Alta Vista (90's joke for some of you to chuckle at). Doing what you can to be found on google search is no doubt important when you're promoting your products or services, but many smaller businesses may not realize how paying a little attention to Google can pay off for you.

Google has a number of free tools and services that local businesses can take advantage of to ensure that they are found by the people who are close by.  As mobile phones and tablets become more and more capable,  making your presence known to mobile users that interact with google and the various other services that tap into googles data is really key.
So, here are a couple of quick questions for you:

1. Does your business show up on local search? As a business owner you can set up a free business listing on Google and Google+ local which will get you positioned on Google Maps and local search results.  The first step if you haven't already is to go to http://www.google.com/placesforbusiness .  For mobile phone or tablet users, who are looking for a bar, restaurant or other types of businesses, these results give them listings of businesses close to them - right when they are likely to buy.
The listings are very comprehensive and can include a description of the product or services you offer, business hours, payment options and so on.
Once you set up the listing, Google will send you a postcard in the mail to verify your listing and boom! you'll be listed.
 
2.  How do you appear on google maps?  
The business listings are critical to google maps as well - For restaurants and bars, there are some really interesting features that work incredibly well for marketing your business.  One of the most exciting new developments is tied to google street view, which allows you to virtually navigate down a street and to see 360 views of the streetscape.  Well Google has taken that approach one step further with a feature called "see inside".  From a business listing on Google maps, you can literally stand in the middle of a restaurant and look around - check out Joy Bistro or my local, MacGuggans pub in Toronto for examples.  I'm using the google nexus 7 tablet, and using the compass mode on google maps I can move the tablet around me to virtually "see" the business as if I were looking through a window.

There are a few other ways that paying a little attention to google can pay off - and if you need help setting some of these features up, please get in touch.
 

 By Keith Jolie

In : local business 


Tags: google local promoting 
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