[Ed. note: The following is a guest article & PDF Guide written for Local U by Morry Mitrani of SaleAMP.com.]
Both an internet gateway and a curator of web content, Google’s role in the online arena is undoubtedly pervasive. Yet, given the many changes that Google has wrought in local, it remains important that those who rely on Google for exposure -- namely small business owners -- seek to understand the manner by which they are promoted. Google Places for Business, a tool developed specifically with the local business owner in mind, seeks to facilitate this process, granting users control of their Google content via a streamlined and centralized dashboard.
The following guide is designed to serve as a primer on the changes this service has undergone and the features it now offers. This information will primarily benefit both Local SEO professionals and small businesses. However, it is nevertheless important that agency members and clients alike realize that their Google listing (and thus a major component of their online footprint) is far more complex than a simple name, address, and phone number. Once this notion is understood, users can leverage the tools Google has provided to transform their Google presence into an asset rather than a liability.
Within the document, readers will find an up-to-date rundown of the suite of services offered through Google Places for Business. The following topics are covered in detail:
- Basic listings
- Review monitoring
- AdWords Express
- Social features in Google+
- Google Offers
The guide relies on several screenshots taken from the dashboard of real local businesses, so as to contextualize each feature through examples of its application in the real world. Additionally, the guide steps back a level to discuss how the process of claiming a Google Places for Business listing can differ from business to business, and delves into the steps each user must complete to ensure that proper account ownership is attained. The aim here is to help all users quickly gain access to the features provided in the dashboard, regardless of their preliminary situation. Overall, this helpful guide is intended for anyone seeking a greater understanding of Google’s new local features.
About Morry Mitrani