Google Places has been Google’s global social media website for very long time, and is now integrated with Google+ local. Similar to other geographically based websites, it is meant for people who are searching for local businesses. Customers can write reviews and leave feedback about businesses, and businesses can use the website to keep in touch with their customers.
Google Places is integrated with all of the other products that Google has to offer such as Google maps and YouTube, as well as Google+. Additionally, there is now a Google Places dashboard where you can manage your Google+ local page and your Google Places listing information, all from one place. Previously, businesses needed to manage these accounts separately.
Before you can create a new listing, you first need to set up a Google account. If you are already using gmail, Google+ or any other Google products, you have a personal account set up already. You can then use your personal account to create a business account, or a Google+ page. This type of account is used exclusively by businesses.
The main difference between a business account and a regular account is that with a business account, you can choose administrators and grant access to other users for your account without giving them full access to your personal e-mail address.
Now, whenever you interact on Google products as your business, you appear as a business to other users, rather than a personal user. Keep an eye on which account your login two, and make sure that when you’re commenting or doing any other kind of activity, you’re doing it as your business.
From the Google Places homepage, log in to your business account.
Before you create a new listing, make sure there isn’t already one there. You should see a tab that says find your business. Use this tab first to determine if your particular business has already been listed. It should be there already if somebody has reviewed you. If you do find your business there, follow the steps that Google provides to verify that it’s your business.
If your business is not already present, click add a new listing.
You will now be a redirect it to a page that lets you fill out basic information. Enter your company’s real name, which is the most familiar name to your customers. If necessary, add the location of your branch. You can also add in your address, phone number, and URL.
The following page lets you add more detailed information. You’ll be asked to choose a category for your business, letting you choose up to five separate categories. Start out by picking the main category that best describes our business. You’re actually allowed to add up to five categories, so you should definitely take advantage of them all, to give your customers more ways to find you and increase your exposure.
Categories are essentially keywords that will help to bring your listing in the search results. Select any categories that apply to you. Google can help make suggestions, but you are free to enter your own. Try to think about what your customers are looking for. Consider all the products and services that you offer and list the most important ones as categories.
You’ll also need to fill out some other information, including your hours of operation and the types of payment you accept. You are allowed to upload up to 10 photos, and if possible try to use them all. The primary photo should be your logo, or other main image for your business. Other photographs can be products or anything else that you think relates to your business. Videos can also be added directly from YouTube.
Now, the final step is simply to verify your account. You do this by getting a postcard in the mail. You will receive a PIN number that you enter into your listings account page. Once you have completed this step, it can still take one or two weeks before your listing appears in Google+.
Since Google Places is now fully integrated with Google+ local, any information that you add in Places should also be updated on your Google+ page. If you have the new dashboard, all of those updates will happen almost immediately.
A Google+ local page lets you make use of social media features like hangouts. At the same time, your Google+ local listing will not only include the social media features, but can also show reviews from your Google Places listing. This integration takes full advantage of the many features available in Places and Google+.