Posted to Volacci's blog on December 8th, 2010

Getting Started with Google Places

Over the last couple of months we've seen Google really start to make a run at local search. It began in April when Google announced they would re-brand Google Local Business Center to the shorter Google Places. Since then they have added Google Tags, QR codes, the ability to link Paid Search adds to your Google Places page, and integrated Google Places into the actual search results. That's a lot in a matter of months. But for those who just want to know how to get started with Google Places you've come to the right place. Claim Your Business

  • Requires your Phone Number & Location.
  • Choose to have a verification number sent either via phone or snail mail.

Fill out the Basic Information

  • Make sure all of your information is accurate.
  • Fill out as much information as possible.
  • While you can use a 1-800 number we recommended you use a local number.
  • Use the proper email for people trying to contact you. This can be a customer service or company email address.
  • If you have a website, list it. If you don't, get one!

Describe Your Business

  • Write a short description describing your company and what products or services you offer.
  • While Google limits it to 200 characters in the search results that list up to 170 so try to make it at least 170 characters.

Write Your Categories

  • Start by looking at what keywords your competitors are using as their categories.
  • Type keywords you think your customers are typing in when they are looking for your product or service.
  • You can add up to 5 so try and use them all.

Choose your Service Areas and Location Settings

  • There are two options here. One for Distance from one location. One for List of areas served. We like the list of areas served.
  • Areas served allows you to pick your boundaries oppose to just putting a circumference around your location.

Update Your Hours, Payment Options, & Additional Details

  • Are you open from 9-5? 24 hours a day? List your hours.
  • Let your customers know what forms of payment you expect so that they're not surprised.
  • Add additional information like parking, brands carried, services offered, etc.

Add Photos

  • Upload your logo, photos of your employees, products you offer, your building, menu, etc.

Upload a Video

  • If you don't have a video we recommend using to create a short promotional video.
  • Use photos, and text to promote and/or describe your business.

Submit Your Business to Local Listings There are two major types of listings, Directories and Review sites: Directories:

Local Review Directories:

Gather Reviews

  • Don't write fake reviews. People can read right through them.
  • Instead, make a list of customers you can get in touch with via email or phone.
  • Call or email the people on your list requesting they add a review.
  • Try to diversify where you're reviews show up. Yelp, Google Places, YellowPages, etc.