What do you know about Google, the Search Engine King, recently? As of May 21, 2012, the number one search engine has approximately 1.4 billion visits. This figure accounts for 65.17% of all queries. However, this is not the only amazing information about the World Wide Web. Did you know that around 2.2 billion people across the globe have logged on the Internet for the first quarter of 2012? Before we dive into how to get listed in Google Places and get tons of FREE organic traffic, lets do some more number-crunching.
From the above number, an estimated 70-80% of users focus more on organic search results than on paid adverts. Additionally, approximately 75% of individuals only look for information on the first search engine result page (SERP). Furthermore, a study has discovered that most websites receive around 41% of their traffic through search and only 11% from some social media platforms.
What do all these statistics mean to you then? These figures indicate that if you want to build a credible and strong marketing campaign, you can combine your traditional methods (e.g. print adverts, TV commercial, etc.) with modern strategies (e.g. pay-per-click, online advertising, SEO, etc.). Now, there is a huge importance in establishing both a storefront and eCommerce website.
When you have the latter, you can cater to your customers’ needs any time of the day. Plus, you can promote your business without spending a big budget. When you have the former, you can take advantage of the fact that Google receives over 2 billion location-based searches each month.
How to Submit Your Business to Google Places and Get Tons of FREE Traffic?
How is this possible? You can be one of the businesses that consumers spot online by signing up for Google Places. Google Places is an application programming interface (API), which allows you to enlist your trade location. Place Pages connect people to information from the best sources across the web, displaying photos, reviews and essential facts, as well as real-time updates and offers from business owners.
Once you have established and have optimized your listing page, you can rank in search results whenever potential customers shop around for offers within your niche and area.
Google lists everything from restaurants and hotels to dry cleaners and bike shops, as well as non-business places like museums, schools and parks. It sounds like a great opportunity for your company. And, the best advantage of all is that it does not charge you a penny! With that said, sign up for Google Places using these simple steps.
Step 1: Go to Google Places and click “List Your Business”
» Go to google.com/places and choose “Get started”
» Log in using your Google (or Gmail) account or create one (that is, if you do not have one yet). If it is the latter, click on “Sign Up” at the top right corner (check out the next image for reference).
Step 2: Check if your Business has already been Picked up by Google Places
» The moment you have logged in or created an account and are already on the Places page, choose your country and type in your company’s phone number to help Google determine if you have a previous listing.
Step 3: Follow the Steps While Remembering Google Places Guidelines
» If there is no previous listing matching yours, another page will appear asking for basic info on your business. While you are filling out the fields, take note of these reminders:
– Provide complete details on each box.
– Use a real and specific address and not your P.O. Box.
– Supply as much information about your company on the “Description” field and do not forget to incorporate relevant keywords. And, by “relevant”, it refers to terms related to your niche or industry.
– Enter your website to ensure that your target customers know where to find you in case they want to shop online.
– Include several trade categories under “Category” as long as these associate with your offers. To do this, click on “Add another category”.
» Upload an image of your company logo as well as those of your products or successful transactions to show potential buyers your capacity as a seller.
Step 4: Get your Google Places Listing Verified
» When you are through, click on “Submit”, which you can see at the bottom. Now, you have to know that you need to verify or claim your listing before it actually appears on Google Maps or search results. You will receive an email, SMS, or phone call for this. While you can confirm through all these methods, the second and third are the quickest means.
» Sign up for Business Photos too. This way, you can give the consumers an initial look into your establishment and offers through pictures (taken by professional photographers from Google) and a 360-degree interactive tour.
» As a last note, take time to update your Places listing each time something new comes up in your company. Additionally, upload interesting content such as videos or links to your official website. Finally, request reviews from your satisfied customers because these help in putting you at the top of search results.
Guest Author: Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a leading search agency providing SEO reseller packages to local and national companies. You can read more articles from me by checking out the blog section of Smart Traffic’s official website.