Free Google Places listings are good for business and are a key component of a business’online visibility. These listings provides businesses with free, perpetual online advertising. Every month in the US, there are 1 billion searches on the Internet, many of which are consumers and businesses looking for products and services to buy. Google Places listings are integrated with Google Maps and perhaps more importantly, Google’s main internet search engine, definitely typically the most popular in the US among English-speaking searchers. Today, smart-phone devices provide anywhere, anytime usage of a rich pair of location-based information, while consumers are shopping on the go. Now, significantly more than ever, it’s critical for businesses to truly have a robust online presence to remain competitive.
A large reasons why free Google Places listings are very compelling could be the Google dominant market position. Based on reports from leading audience measurement researchers such as for instance comScore and Hitwise, Google has, during the time of this writing, approximately 65% of the US, English-speaking search market share and if you count search engines powered by Google technology, their market share increases to almost 70%, with Yahoo! and Microsoft Bing splitting all of the remaining 30%. Since listings feed search results within the Google main internet search engine, the Google mobile internet search engine and the Google Maps applications, having a Google Places listing provides a business with tremendous local visibility online, particularly valuable in competitive local markets.
Some other top reasons Google Places listings are valuable include enabling businesses to determine online identities and user engagement by sharing images and video buy google reviews . Actually, these listings currently support uploading as much as 10 images and 5 videos, all for no charge. Product images and videos can reinforce a business brand while providing visitors additional information to help their purchase decision in the sales process while setting the business apart from other local businesses. Before, usage of images and videos have demonstrated the ability to increase click-through rates on listings, influencing listing visitors to answer some call to action such as for instance click to your businesses website, click for directions or click to call.
Another great feature of the Google Places listing is providing an on the web venue to engage existing and potential customers in an open and transparent dialogue. Probably the most engaging listings are composed of a rich mixture of business and user-generated content. User-generated content arises from customers who provide ratings and reviews of the business based by themselves buying experience. One downside is rating and review input is limited to Google users only, requiring them to be logged into their Google account to offer input to the listing.
This user rating and review mechanism of Google Places listings can foster trust online by highlighting not merely what the businesses says about themselves, but more importantly, what their customers are saying, which is often of great interest to other potential customers. Afraid of what some may say, businesses who want to “stay static in control of these online reputation” resist claiming or creating these local online business listings. To those that resist, consider this. A small business’online reputation could happen if the business participates or not. The question is, if the businesses will need steps to higher manage it. Claiming a Google Places listing is some of those steps.
To illustrate this time, Google Places listings exists for businesses who neither created nor where even were aware that the listing existed. Google does this today by sourcing information from data aggregators used to generate listings for businesses without their knowledge or participation. Those listings then should be claimed by the business owners, who must verify ownership of the listing to be able to make changes and update the listing. Ownership of a Google Places listing can be accomplished through either US mail confirmation to the address of record in the existing listing or via a phone verification system using the phone number in the listing that may allow businesses to claim the free listing in real-time.