Google Places for Business (Maps)

What is Google Places for Business?

Have you ever done a search in Google and included a location like Dublin or Cork to narrow down the results?
Well if you have then you are likely to have seen results from Google Places for Business.
These are businesses that are listed with Google on their Google Maps platform.
So is it important to be listed on the map? Well read on…..

Example: To demonstrate this I did a search on 15/08/2013 for “Horse Riding Wicklow” and this is what came up:

Google Search Results Page for Horse Riding Wicklow

As you will see the first result is a paid ad (pink box) followed by the top two organic (not paid for) listings.

Brennanstown is no. 1 and Wicklow Equestrian is no. 2.
On their right a Google Map of Wicklow has appeared with 8 results marked with red balloons lettered A to G.

(sometimes ads will appear under the map for this search, other time not, it seems to be random)

So in effect after the ad and the first two organic results the next eight slots are filled by horse riding establishments that are listed on Google Places for Business. (You starting to get its importance now!)

Not only that but Wicklow Equestrian is no. 2 on organic and also 1st on the map list. So in effect it has bagged places 2 and 3! Furthermore the no. 1 organic listing Brennanstown is not listed on the map at all.

Six further organic listings appear below the map but it feels like a long way down the page to get to those.

If that wasn’t enough if you mouse over any of eight text results for the map listings the map suddenly changes to this!

Google Search Result of Mouse Over on Map listing for Bel Air

Information submitted to Google Places for Business about the business such as photographs (with an option to click through to the businesses Google+ page to see more pics), map location, address, phone number, opening hours, button to hyperlink to a google map with directions, google customer reviews, star rating. More information would appear here is more was submitted to either their Google+ page or their profile in Google Places.

If you click on the map as it initially appeared you are brought to a larger Google Map of Wicklow

Google Map Places for Business Wicklow Result

Here you get a larger view and to the left a slider menu of organic results preceded by an ad.

The listings results can vary from main results page to the click through (Wicklow Equestrian was A (1st) on the main results page but E (5th) when I clicked through to the main map. So it is not as consistent as the main results page for position.

So two things to take from this are

  1. The importance of listing your business on Google Places for Business and 
  2. How important it is for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, influencing your websites ranking in Search Engine Results Pages or SERP’s for short) to have a company page on Google+ as it allows your customers to post reviews about your business for Google.

Here is the link to the Google Places for Business homepage (pictured below)

Google Places For Business Homepage

 

 

Finally this is the sign up page where you submit your information. Fill in as much about you business using the important keywords. There is lots more space than it initially appears so write away to your hearts content while keeping to the point obviously! To verify that you own the business you have two options.

  1. Request an automated phone call to the business phone number
  2. Request a postcard to be sent to the business address.

Both these options will supply you with a pin code which you will use to confirm you are indeed the owner.

Google Places For Business Sign Up Page