Think of your Google Places listing as a free Yellow Pages ad.
But instead of being able to make changes once a year, you can make changes immediately, add monthly updates, create coupons, add videos and pictures and more.
Here are some good reasons to claim your Google Places Page:
1. Verify Your Business Information - You need to make sure that Google has the right information. Google creates Place Pages for businesses by scraping other websites. If the information which appears on your Place Page is incorrect or outdated, you could be losing potential customers. Sometimes, Google may create multiple listings for one business, resulting in confusion. Claiming your Places listing is the first step towards sorting this out.
2. Enhance Your Page - Once you've claimed your Page, you can augment it with pictures, videos and coupons. The more information you provide, the better. I see dozens of Place Pages which have been claimed, but where the business owner has made no attempt to enhance their page. At the very least, add some pictures.
3. Higher Search Engine Ranking - Your chances of appearing on the first page of the Google Places listings are dramatically improved by claiming your listing.
4. Avoid Hij****** - Unscrupulous competitors have been known to hijack listings. They will usually either change the contact details to their own or sabotage the listing so that it gets penalized and disappears. You can avoid this by claiming and verifying your listing.
5. Respond To Reviews - Google now gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviews on their Place Page. You should be doing this - and not only for bad reviews, but for good ones as well. Let customers know how much you appreciate their feedback.
6. Your customers are looking for you online - More and more people are using computers or smart phones to find information about businesses. If you've ever looked up the address or phone number of a business on Google Maps on your phone, you'll know that it's quicker and easier than hunting for the map book.
Google Places is intimately connected to Google Maps, which means that people searching for your business on their phones are going to see the best Google Places results for their location.
When people search from their desktop computer, Google is giving them local results even when they don't specifically ask for them.
7. It's Free - need I say more?
Google Places isn't perfect, but it generates millions of phone calls and website visits for businesses of all sizes every day. Creating or claiming your Places listing is not something you should put off until you have time to do it.
If you liked this article, please do me a huge favour and leave an honest review on my Google Places Page at http://g.co/maps/42863
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