How Google Places Can Put Your Website on the Map and Increase Sales

google_placesThere are several ways to market yourself and/or your business using the Internet. Each path you take can lead to a different result, or the separate paths can lead in the same direction and support each other with a similar query. One of these paths is Google Maps.

Google Maps is arguably the predominate way anyone is going to look for where a business is located in relation to themselves. It covers about 30% of the search engine results that show up on the first page, and this makes it much less difficult for users to find what they need. They can use the information presented in the search results to make connections with one or more businesses that show up there. If a business is using Google Maps properly, making sure to craft the various elements of an online presence to build local listings, then they will assist their customers in finding them without added complexity. All of the major search engines – Yahoo, Google and Bing – have their own local listings that derive from the maps local listings optimization.

If your business is suffering, it could be from not making sure that potential customers can find you easily enough. Everyone has gotten so used to looking up a business using a major search engine and then seeing a pop-up map that shows them exactly how to find that business. If they cannot get that kind of hit, chances are they will skip to the listing that does give them that kind of information. We want to easily see where and who and how to contact someone at the business location.

In case you were wondering, getting listed on Google Maps is free – there is no additional cost to getting your listing populated here. If you had worried that you couldn’t invest more marketing dollars, this is important to know. Then, whether you are directing searchers to your website or you use a Google Places page instead, you want to make sure and have all the information filled out as completely as possible. Then you’ll use keywords throughout the listing so that you benefit from optimization – the more hits for keywords or other ways Google uses SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the higher up the results listing you will appear.

It’s a proven fact that the most visited and popular sites or listings are the ones that show up on the first page – maybe the second, to a lesser degree – of a search. This is where optimization really plays an important role in the process. Absolutely make sure your address and contact phone number information is correct – at a minimum. Potential customers will leave you flat if they try and call only to find out the number is wrong. Also make sure that you use the same format for all the information listings so they show up the same.

Once you have entered all your listing information and populated the listing with keywords and phrases that will get optimization hits, watch your ranking in search results move up and your business traffic grow. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.