Google places for business is one thing every business should sign up for immediately. This is true whether you’re a bricks and mortar store or a contractor working from home. It is free, and it offers upgrades (that are not free), and it helps people find you, especially if you do business locally. Simply do a Google search on “Google Places” and you’ll find the right link to use.
Now follow all the directions and fill out your profile so that you can “claim” your business listing on Google. You’ll be able to be found by locals who are searching for a business like yours. Additionally, you can offer coupons, announce sells and more all on your local business listing from Google. The greatest thing is that it is free. You can upgrade and pay for advertisements and a higher ranking listing but it is not required.
You can put up photos, your address, your logo, your business hours, announcements, articles and more on your Google Places listing. Make sure you really jazz it up with professional photographs and your actual business logo. You want your listing to look as professional as possible. Remember that even if this is free, it is a type of advertisement for your business so put your best business face forward. You can link to your website, your blog, and tell people about your Facebook and Twitter via your Google Places Listing. It’s not hard to do, in fact you can even find a video that tells you and shows you exactly how to do it.
Alternatively, if you do not want to do it yourself, you can ask your web developer, or your virtual assistant to create a listing for you. It will take less than thirty minutes to accomplish, and before you know it you’ll be getting local calls for your products and services without paying for an advertisement! Google Places has analytics so you can know how many page views your listing has and even see if people are clicking on your listing, so you can know if the words and pictures you’re using are attracting clicks. If not, you can change things up to see if a change improves your click through rate.
Even if you are an individual contractor running a home business you can use Google Places, just do not list your physical address other than your City, State and zip code and adjust your office hours to say by appointment only and make sure to list a business line or cell phone as your business number. Using every avenue at your fingertips is a good idea when you’re marketing a small business.