Have you ever typed keywords into Google search before and got a results page with a map on the right side and the first seven websites on the list marked with red balloons from A-G? If you have, then you have found the “Golden Seven”—the seven top businesses Google have in their Google Places listing. Google Places is the Yellow Pages of Google, because more and more people are using Google to search for products and services located near where they are. Depending on your keywords (and the size of your screen), those seven tend to occupy more than the upper half of your screen.
Every business wants to be one of the Golden Seven. Depending on the number of competitors in your area, having your business listed—and entered well—in Google Places can get you in, or close to, the Golden Seven. Notice Google already knows your location (reported by your browser) when you type your keywords, so it will present you with businesses close to your area.
Here’s a sample search for “pizza delivery okanagan”:
Notice there’s no “Golden Seven” and the only result with the red balloon (also seen on the map to the right) is actually fourth in the list. What we actually have here is the first two links redirect to the website Google Places-listed business—OK Pizza—and the third link leads to the Internet marketing firm OK Pizza hired.
In theory an Internet marketer shouldn’t come up in a search for ‘pizza delivery’ but, in the imperfect world of the web, this sort of thing can happen. In any case, the search works very good for OK Pizza. One of the reasons for this is that Okanagan is a region and not a city. The results would be completely different if you typed in the city Kelowna instead of Okanagan.
You want your business to come up in, or near, the Golden Seven? Follow these steps:
How to Set Up Your Google Places Listing
1. Edit your business listing with Google Places.
Sometimes, Google goes ahead and gathers public information about businesses and puts them on the map even without someone creating the business listing first. Do a search on your business keywords plus city or region. If you find a Google Places listing for your business, Google will give you the option to claim that listing by verifying your identity.
a.) In this case, click on ‘Google reviews’ . . .
b.) Then click on ‘Owner-verified listing’
c.) Make sure you are logged in to your Gmail account (the account you will be using to manage your listing). Once logged in, provide your business phone number and press ‘Edit’ to fill up the Google Places listing form (step 3).
2. (Skip this if you already have your business listed for claiming) Create your business listing. If your business isn’t listed yet, browse to http://www.google.com/places/ and click ‘Get Started’ for Google Places listing (Gmail account needed). This will take you to where you can put your business phone number in and click ‘Edit’ to edit your listing
3. Fill up the Google Places listing form. Put in as much useful information for a customer as possible. Make sure your Name, Business Address, and Phone numbers (including mobile) are the same online as it is offline. When you are done. Click submit:
4. Here are more tips to get better placement in Google Places listing — close to, or inside, the Golden Seven:
Ways To Get Better Placement With a Google Places Listing
- Include local area code (also country code if needed)
- Avoid vanity phone numbers and call center numbers
- Correct your map marker location if needed—drag the marker to correct location on map:
- Put in hours of operation
- Include payment and language options
- Upload large and clear pictures (up to 10) and videos (up to 5) to your business listing if you already claimed it. Your customers can also add theirs.
- Have a clear website URL
- Add links to social media websites—e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, and blog (if you have one)—these can be added in the ‘Additional Details’ section;
- Once you’ve filled up the Google Places listing, encourage customers to write their reviews or testimonials (can be accessed when you click the ‘Reviews’ link in your Google Pages listing
Now that you know the basics of promoting your business with Google Places listing, have your business listed now. Have questions? Leave any questions you have below on how to promote your business with a Google Places listing.