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Google Places for Businesses…what’s the point?

Google places for businesses

The world of Google and search engine optimisation (SEO) is constantly changing.

We often get asked many questions about Google Places by our clients looking for SEO in Salisbury and there does seem to be an air of confusion about the purpose of the page and how it should be set up alongside a normal Google+ account.

We often get asked:

  1. What is a Google Places for Business listing?
  2. What is the point in having one?
  3. If I’ve already set up a business page in Google, do I already have one?

These are all common questions we get asked regularly so we have put together this quick guide which hopefully answers all you need to know about Google Places for businesses and makes the whole idea seem a little less daunting.

What is a Google Places for Business listing?

Google Places for Business was developed as a means of controlling what information is displayed by Google within Google Maps and Google searches as a way of potential customers finding you more easily.

This information is displayed in the right hand side of a Google page when your business appears in the search results. It enables you to add information about your business which includes opening hours and address (see more below).

One thing to ensure when you set up your Google Places listing is that it is set up using the same email address as you used to set up your business page. This allows both pages to be managed within one profile.

What is the point in having one?

The benefits of a Google Places for Business listing allows you to add your business to Google maps, display contact details for your customer base, opening hours and images.

It enables your customers to locate you more easily, crucial when you are looking to grow your business.

It also enables your customers to add reviews and you to respond to them. This is something designjam encourage as it not only helps to build your reputation, but is effective for SEO to have people regularly reviewing your business.

Even if your business already appears on Google, it is imperative that you verify your listing to ensure its details are accurate and explain everything you want to say about your business. It will help potential customers find you more easily and will extend your reach.

The listing page doesn’t include any social features or connections (circles) like the normal Google+ accounts do so we always encourage out clients to set up both.

If I’ve already set up a local business page in Google+, do I already have an Google Places for business listing?

The simple answer to this is no. The Google Places listing is a separate entity to your Google+ page and serve two different purposes.

Your local Google+ page allows you to gain more exposure and communicate with your customers. This type of page also has social features.

When setting up your Google+ page we always encourage you to use the local business category. Once set up and verified, your Google Places Page will automatically merge with your Google+ Local page.

Having both pages combined under one profile allows the pages to be managed under one profile.

Recent updates

At the start of June, Google made some significant changes to the way users with a Google+ business page connect this to their places for business listing (Find out more here).

This additional feature now allows a user to connect both pages together to create just one listing which incorporates all the features of both listing types mentioned further up in this blog post. In order for this to work successfully, both listings must be set up using the same Google account.

Verifying your business

Once you make any changes to your business information, Google will request that this information is verified. This can be done in two ways, the first is over the phone or the second is to request a PIN on a postcard which is delivered to your business address. Once the PIN is requested and received, be sure to enter this as soon as possible as it expires after a few days and an additional PIN will need to be requested.