oogle, the king of search, has been working hard on Google Places attempting to make it more user friendly, effective, and relevant for the local business owner. Before delving into the benefits of Google Places a brief explanation might be appreciated.
What is Google Places?
“Google Places, found at google.com/places, allows business owners to edit the content of their existing listing, or to add a brand new listing to Google’s local database. By ensuring that basic information is up-to-date and providing additional details, like photos, hours, and coupons, business owners can stand out on the map to attract more customers.” – Google
Why should a small business use Google Places?
Google Places is a necessary service needed by all small business owners if they want to be visible on the web, attract customers, and become or maintain profitability. Additionally, local search is becoming more predominate. People are still using the internet to tune into Hulu, YouTube or CNN. However, local search results are important as well. According to Google, 73% of online activity is related to local content; 74% of internet users perform local searches and of this percentage 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore).
As a small business, if you are not using Google Places you are most likely missing a large group of potential customers.