I was visiting my favorite coffee shop in the Springs recently, Kapow Comics and Coffee, and got to talking with the manager there. I told her that I do Search Engine Optimization, and she admitted that she does not like that type of work. “I’m more of a people person,” she said. “I can’t sit in front of a computer for too long.”
Understood, but it only takes a few minutes to claim your business on Google places – well it takes a couple of weeks, but you only have to sit in front of the computer for a few minutes.
First you introduce your business to Google by going to Google Places for Business and click on “Get Started”. You’ll see a map of the United States, and a text box instructing you to search for your business. You type in your business name, and if you see it click on it. If you don’t then you click on the last option, “No, these are not my business.”
In the latter case you enter your business information: name, address, number, etc. and in either case you will be asked to verify your business through either a postcard, that will be mailed to the business address with a PIN, or through the business phone number that you listed, which will prompt a call that will give you the PIN. In either of those cases you will enter the PIN to verify that you are the owner of the business. The benefit of this process is that you can manage multiple features in Google with respect to your business such as maps, photos, and reviews.
As a consumer I cannot count the number of times I have found myself in a new town, hungry, and wonder what’s around. In almost every single instance I whip out my smart phone, open the Google Maps app, and type in the kind of food I’m looking for. Also, in almost every single instance I find some businesses have made my decision much easier to make than others have.
For example, some restaurants will be listed, but with no detail information regarding hours, menu, or prices. Then others have all that information listed, making it easy for me to see if I want to eat there or not. Whether I chose that restaurant or not I never chose the restaurant that has no information. This is the type of free transaction that a business owner or manager can make that will bring in revenue. That’s literally free money!
Being that Google is such a dominant force, and so many people use it to search for the things they need, why not piggyback on that synergy, and control your business marketing through them, especially when it’s free?