Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If you haven't listed your business on Google Places, YOU NEED TO!

Steps to add a listing on Google Places

by HISCEC Staff November 9, 2010 - 10:43 pm
Google Places offers you the opportunity to create a great listing in just a few minutes and it doesn’t cost a thing. The benefits of adding your listing to Google places are:

- Your business can be listed in Google local business directory and displayed from or for local searches
- You can manage your listing information including adding business description, product/service details, photos, videos, etc. at any time.
- You can add special promotions and coupons to attract more customers.
- You can get insight about your listing traffic such as how many times your listing shows up in search and how many times people click for more info.
- You can direct your customers to your Google Places profile to leave comments about your business, and even better, you can respond to what other people got to say about your products/services, especially respond to negative feedback.

You need to take three general steps before your listing will appear on Google:

  1. Submit your information, from basic contact info to photos and video.
  2. Verify your listing by phone or postcard.
  3. Wait for your listing to appear on Google. In most cases, it shouldn't take more than 12 hours.
These are the step-by-step instructions for how to add your business information to Google Places (as presented by Google on its Google places site):

Visit Google Places.
    Please read our Google Places quality guidelines and Local listings content policy prior to creating your single listing.
  1. If you already have a Google Account, sign in with your email and password. You can also use an AdWords login address and password, if you have one. If you don't have a Google Account, click Sign up for an account now, or go straight to the sign-up page. Google Places accounts are not transferable, so if you are planning to share this account with other users, create a Google account that you would not mind sharing with others.
  2. On Google Places homepage, click Add new business.
  3. Review the search results, if any, to see if one of them describes your business.
    • If your business is listed as one of the search results, click Edit.
    • If none of the results are related to your business, you will be prompted to add business information on the Edit Details page.
    • Fill out the basic information about your business. This includes:
      • Company/Organization: This is the official/registered name of your business.
      • Address (required): The address should look exactly the way you'd write it on a standard mailing envelope. If you are a service-area business, you'll be able to hide your address in a few steps.
      • Phone Number (required): Be sure to include the area code with your phone number.
      • Website: Your website URL can be a maximum of 255 characters.
      • Categories: Enter several categories to describe your business, to make it easier for others to find when they search Google. Google will automatically suggest categories as you type. Make sure you choose one Google-suggested category before adding customizable categories. You can enter up to 5 categories for your business.
      • Hours of operation: Select your hours of operation using the dropdown menus. If would prefer not to specify your hours of operation, keep the radio button selected next to “I prefer not to specify operating hours.”
      • Payment options: Select the checkboxes next to the payment methods that your business accepts.
      • Photos: Use the photo uploader to add a photo from your computer, or specify a URL to add a photo from the web. You can add up to 10 photos to your listing. To learn more about adding photos, check out the User Guide.
      • Video: To add a video, upload it to YouTube and copy and paste the URL to your Places listing. You can add up to 5 videos to your listing. For help with uploading your video to YouTube, read the article on how to upload a video in the YouTube Help Center.
      • Additional details: Use this section to add custom information fields to your listing. For example, parking availability, or whether your business allows pets. Learn more about useful custom attributes to add to your listing.
    • You can preview your listing as it will appear in Maps on the right side of your screen. New information will appear in the preview as you enter it. When you’re satisfied with your listing, click Submit at the bottom of the page.Choose how you would like to verify your listing and click Finish.
Once you've submitted your business information, you'll be asked to verify it before it goes live. We allow a maximum of 100 listings per account for manual verification.

You can see your listing live on Google by signing into your Google Places account and clicking See your listing on Google. This link will take you to your actual Place Page, as seen by users.

What your listing will look like on Google

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