One of the challenges of marketing online is finding enough sources of traffic for your blog or website that will bring you suitably interested people. Visitors who are interest in what you do and sell.
Search Still Has The Numbers
The one place where you're guaranteed of lots of filtered/targeted traffic is still the search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc), and dispute the challenges from social media we are all still very dependent on search for finding the things we really want.
In the early days of search engines, website owners had very little ability to control how and where they showed up when people typed in words to search against. Over time there have been major improvements so that we now have SEO strategies, advertising tools such as Adwords and more recently, localisation with Google Places.
What Is Google Places
Google Places is a search optimisation feature that Google have created that combines their Google Maps and Google Local projects and displays in Google Search.
Google Places helps people searching for businesses to identify the ones local to them; it does this in two main noticeable ways.
Search Results & Google Maps
The most obvious way you can see Google Places in action is when searching with Google.
You may have noticed that sometimes when you search that a map is shown with a bunch of businesses listed with links, address details and phone numbers, next to a map with red markers. This is Google Places.
Google Places has a pretty prominent piece of search real estate - you'll see it towards the top of the first page of your Google search results. So if you're currently struggling to keep your business on the first page of Google Search this is an excellent way you can guarantee a position at the top.
To see Google Places in action for yourself, type in a suburb or location name followed by a type of business. For example, 'burbank cafe'.
Automatic Location Filtering
The second way Google is making localisation happen with Google Places is by advanced filtering that you may not have even realised was actually happening every time you search!
Now depending on where in the world You are located will depend on what you see when you search; because Google has increased localisation by using the IP you use when you search to identify what part of the world you are in. That means that whenever you search with Google you're already getting a filtered view of the Internet based on your location. If you're in Cambridge, England, then Google will present UK oriented results to your searches. Just like if you're in Sydney, Australia you'll get Australian results and Vancouver, Canada you'll get Canadian results.
That means that everyone's view of Google search results are already filtered by location at the country level. This is great news for businesses that want to appeal to local customers - all those competitors you have overseas are at this moment in time not shown to your prospects when they are searching.
Get Your Business in Google Places
Back to the point... If you haven't yet claimed or nominated the location of your business on Google Places then you're missing out on opportunities with local customers. ...And it costs absolutely nothing to get your Google Places listing set up.
JM Internet have created a video tutorial that explains how you set-up or claim your business listing on Google Places.
The set-up and claiming process takes less than 5 minutes to do, so grab a coffee or cup of tea and go through the process as soon as possible and get your business on Google Places.
As is always the case, there are rumours that Google has plans to change business listings in Google Places, so get in now while the listings are still free and simple to set up.
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