Google Places, Essential for Local Business

It’s not news that Internet marketing is the key to successful business-building strategies. While this has long been true for companies marketing nationally, these days it is essential for local businesses. In fact, targeted Internet advertising is the key to smart growth.

What is Google Places

Google Places mapGoogle offers the Google Places for businesses and websites who need to target their ads a bit closer to home. If you haven’t already claimed your spot with Google Places, there are plenty of reasons you should look closer at this local marketing tool.

Google Places is the free, on-line equivalent of the Yellow Pages. However, for local searchers Google positions these listing at the top of the search results, giving local businesses an edge even over long-time Internet marketers. In addition to the business name and link, a map of the local area is also displayed, allowing users to find all the registered businesses in their search category. The listings even includes a map that pinpoints the location in relation to the searcher’s locale. The really good news about using Google Places is that the majority of local searchers will contact the business; these aren’t just idle searches. A full 70% of users will actually call the company and use the service being advertised.

Why Use Google Places

According to Google’s own statistics, as many as 20 percent of all Internet searches performed on their platform are people looking for a local business or service. For searches performed on mobile phones, the number goes up to 33 percent. Another study, performed by the Kelsey Group, indicates that almost all Internet users perform regular searches to find local businesses.

More Visibility

Because Google makes money when its programs and partners succeed, the Google Places tool has not been stagnant. In fact, there are several new developments that make it even better for your local marketing efforts. Search results are now more closely tied to the Google Places map and older advertising packages have been dumped in favor of more integrated search results. Finally, the Google Places map that provides a visual mark of your business for potential customers now appears on the right-hand side of the results page. In addition, it doesn’t stay put when a searcher scrolls; instead, it moves down the right side of the page, remaining constantly visible.

For Local business, Google Places can be one of your best sources of new business. Google Places is specifically geared to match local searches to resources for local product and services . If you aren’t already using Google Places, you should be. Google Places offers an important and locally targeted tool for finding new customers.