Google Places – the New Face of Google Local Business Centre Listings

Google local business centre listings, now known as Google Places.

Google provides even more ways to optimize your Google Places page (formerly called Google Local Business Centre Listings)

SEOW-Google-Places-590-300Google Local Business Centre Listings has been renamed by Google as Google Places which Google says will simplify the connection with Place Pages. Place Pages were launched by Google in September last year for more than 50 million places around the world.

Four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google through the Google Local Business Centre. Claiming your Place Page will increase your visibility in local searches and is important for local businesses to stay relevant in the local market.

Place pages provide Web searchers with valuable and relevant information such as opening hours and companies can personalize their page with photos, reviews, special offers and real-time updates. Businesses can also provide extra incentives for customers by adding coupons, including ones specially formatted for mobile phones.

Read our article on the Optimise Your Google Local Business Centre Listing to find out how you can optimize your Google Places Page.

Google assures us that Google Places will have all the same features as GLBC but in conjunction with the name change Google has announced the additional features for Google Places.

Service areas: If you travel to serve customers, you can now show which geographic areas you service. This is a great feature that will allow business to not only reach the area they are based in but the areas their business services. In addition, if you run a business without a storefront or office location such as an online fashion store, you can now make your address private.

A new, simple way to advertise: Google has rolled out a new Tags feature for just US$25 per month for selected cities in the US only. Tags are yellow markers on Google Maps that highlight important aspects of their business such as coupons, price lists or updated menus.

Business photo shoots: In addition to uploading your photos to your Places Page, businesses in select cities in US, Japan, and Australia only can apply to be part of a Google business photo shoot where Google photographers come to your business and take photos of your company to supplement your Google Places listing.

Customized QR codes: Again only available to the US market for now, businesses can download a QR code that’s unique to their business, directly from their dashboard page. QR codes can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, and customers can scan them with certain smartphones to be taken directly to the mobile version of the Place Page for that business.

Favorite Places: Google is doing a second round of their Favorite Places program, and are mailing window decals to 50,000 businesses around the US. These decals also include a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to directly view the mobile Place Page for the business to learn more about their great offerings.

Businesses can also track their Google Places data through the personalized dashboard. Similar to Google Analytics, business can analyze data and find out how people found your business on Google, what keywords they used to find it and even what areas people traveled from to visit your business. This information can be used to make educated decisions about your Google Places page and improve your internet marketing strategy.

You can find out more about Google Places by checking the Lat Long blog or post any questions or feedback.

Contact us to find out more about Google Places formerly known as Google Local Business Centre Listings and how we can help you optimize your listing, increase your Search Engine visibility and help you compete on the local market. With one of five searches on Google related to location, Google Places is a great place to start for local Search Engine Optimisation and a sure-fire way for businesses to reach the local market.