The 5 Most Asked Questions about Google Places

[box color=”green-vibrant” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Google Places Business Listing

Lately, there is a lot of talk about Google Places – Google’s newest web offering that seems to be revolutionizing the way businesses reach customers and market online.  If you are responsible for marketing for a business, then you simply cannot afford to miss out on all the talk.  That is because Google Places can be one of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to establishing a strong business presence on the Internet.  Interested in knowing more, but not even sure where to start?  Check out these five most asked questions about Google Places:

How does Google Places help people find my business?  Google is the number one search engine in the entire world-wide web, encompassing a network of web-based applications (like Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Voice, and Google Directory Search) and other partner websites.  When you set up your Google Places listing, your business becomes a part of that network.  That means that any time someone uses Google to search for either your specific business name/location, or even for a business category related to yours in your area, your business listing is likely to appear in the return results across the entire Google network.

How can I make the most of my Google Places listing?  First of all, make sure that it has a score of 100 percent (based partly on completeness).  Also, upload as many photos/videos as Google will allow, encourage customers to post reviews, and employ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies when writing your Places page content.

How do I get a Google Places listing?  Start by creating a (free!) Google account.  Then visit the Google Places homepage and click on the “add business” option to claim your business location.  Once you have submitted all of your information, you will have to verify your business by providing a valid telephone number or document, and then wait for Google to publish your listing.

What will it cost to use Google Places?  Google Places listings, and every feature that comes with your Google Places pages, are absolutely free.

Is it possible to advertise my Google Places page on Google?  Yes, Google has made it simple and easy to advertise for Google Places using Google Adwords Express.  Access Adwords Express through your Google Places account page.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

Google Places Reviews: How to Get Them and How to Respond to Them

[box color=”navy-mute” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Online Reviews

Your business’ Google Places listing is an integral part of your online reputation, and is an invaluable tool when it comes to the Internet marketing of your business.  One essential factor that contributes to the success (or lack thereof) of your Google Places listing is customer reviews.  In order to make the most out of your Google Places listing, you should have plenty of relevant, high-quality customer reviews.  How do you handle the reviews aspect of your Google Places listing?  Here are some tips for how to get and respond to Google Places reviews.

Getting Reviews:

Ask for them.  This is the simplest way to get Google Places reviews.  If you have satisfied customers or clients (and you should!), then make it a point to ask them to visit your Google Places listing and submit a review.  Remind them that posting a review to your listing is easy: they simple click on the “Write a Review” button at the top left-hand corner of your listing and type away.

Your Google Places listing link.  Google Places provides you with a personalized link that you can send to your email or snail mail list to direct people to your listing and ask for reviews.  You can also include your link on all of your business correspondence, advertisements and marketing materials.

QR codes.  Generate a QR code linked to your Google Places listing and put it on anything and everything related to your business that your customers may see, along with a simple request to visit your listing and write a review.  QR codes will take any smart phone user directly to your Google Places listing with a quick and easy scan.

Third-party sources.  List your business in directories like Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Business listings, and Foursquare and all reviews submitted to those sites will automatically link to and be listed on your Google Places listing.

Responding to Reviews:

Negative reviews.  It never fails that some people simply won’t be happy with your business, no matter what you do.  It is important that you preserve your business’ reputation by responding to these reviews promptly and diplomatically.  Make a public attempt to resolve any issues, and express your perspective in a way that is neither self-justifying nor insulting to the customer.

Positive reviews.  Thank your satisfied customers for their support, and offer them incentives to keep coming back.  By offering coupons and referral rewards publicly, via the Google Places listing forum, you are encouraging potential customers to give you a try.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

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