Google Places – Claim your spot

Google Places – Claim your spot

If you don’t have a Google Place yet, today is your lucky day.  I’m here as a self-described non-techie to get you through it.  The best part is it’s free, and you can probably quick paying dex and yellow pages to put it up for you. Watch this little video to learn why you need a Place and how Google looks at “local search”.

Basically, the Google Juice, as the kids call it, comes down to Relevance, Prominence, and Distance.  Having a “Place” will help you along with the Relevance and Distance portions.  You can’t effect “Relevance” a whole ton.  If someone is searching for an ice cream shop and you sell guitars, you aren’t relevant and Google won’t show you.  Deal with it.  For “Distance”, it is what it is.  If that same person is looking for an ice cream shop in Brooklyn, Iowa, and your shop is in Brooklyn, New York, Google won’t show you.  Again, deal with it. We’ll cover “”Prominence”” down the road, but for that one, you need fans out there talking about you.  They can be real or you can make them.  If you make them up, you better know what you’re doing, or Google will get their Bots (I won’t even try to get into this one) on to your game and you’ll be done, -in terms of Google rankings.
Step One – Make sure you don’t already have one or that someone else has hijacked it.
B. Follow the directions and Google will start by asking for your phone number at your business
C. From that you can fill in all the other goodies – website,email, hours, description, services, etc.
Step Two – You’ll get a postcard in the mail from Google (free), that will have a verification code on it that you will use to confirm that you really do have a business at that address
Step Three – Get fancy if you want to/have time/have some level of tech skill
A. If the above info doesn’t describe you, no worries, pat yourself on the back and know that Google can find you (and with it, the gazillions that use their search tool)
B. If you can handle a little more, add a video describing your wares.  Throw it on YouTube for even more Google Juice, yeah I am getting addicted to that phrase.
C. Add some photos and tag some of your best customers while you are at it
Step Four – Get ready for the traffic to flow Baby!!!! – thank you Costanza

A. Keep in mind, once you are out there, searchers can comment and write reviews about you, so you better have everything in line beforehand.  One bad review, and you could be looking to open an ice cream shop somewhere else.

Dan Beenken, Director of UNI Small Business Development Center

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