Google Places For Small Businesses
Most Nigerian businesses and companies have no idea that majority of their prospective customers/clients are actually searching for them online in the various search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It’s hard to accept, but it is happening. Nigerians are becoming extremely search aware, and more and more are using the search engines to find information about businesses, products and services everyday. Positioning your website or business for these type of searches will have a high impact on your business and sales.
We did a search engine optimization for Google local business listing recently for a client. At the initial stage the client thought we were trying too hard to get their business, because we kept coming back trying to educate them and trying to convince them of the potential benefit a listing in the search engines could have on their business. They eventually gave in, not because they were convinced, they just wanted to get rid of us.
Our team got to work immediately, we did a local business search listing for them without a website. Though we had to create a free blog for them on blogger.com as they didn’t own a website at the time. And a website is needed to boost your ranking, though it’s not a prerequisite for getting listed.
In less than 45 days they were appearing on Google for various keywords and search phrases related to their business. The business has since then incorporated online marketing into their marketing strategies.
Now for those of you who are not aware, Google places is like business directory on steroid. It has been around for a while now, but got very popular when Google started listing it along with other search results. There’s no better way to explain it than to see it for yourself.
Here’s what a typical Google local business listing looks like for a search on restaurants in Lagos:
You can see that Google pulls out a geographic location of businesses near the area you’re searching, and displays them along with other search results.
Google local business listing is free and you can apply to be listed here: www.google.com/local/add
Now with your website properly optimized and ranking for your desired/business keywords and search phrases you’ll be the one inking the deals and closing the sales and not your competitor.
Over the coming days, we’ll be posting the same optimization strategies we used to get that particular business quickly into Google maps.