Did you know that your business can actually benefit from free Google advertising? For many businesses that are fairly new to internet marketing, this might come as a shock when businesses tend to spend hundreds of dollars on internet advertising for their products or services.
Well it’s certainly true and we’re not pulling your leg here – it’s certainly true with Google places as Google consistently strive to improve its local search which is of course backed by its very own Google Maps.
As the most dominant search engine online, Google has always strived to become better at providing relevant and useful information on just about anything including businesses and part of that effort is to infuse Google Places or maps into search results page.
How does this benefit your business? Simply put, it’s a great and practically free approach to web advertising and search engine marketing. We could always use some free advertising don’t we?
How can you do Google advertising for free?
To get a good grasp on how Google Places can benefit search engine marketing let’s check out the following example:
Let’s say you are doing a search for “restaurants Sydney”, you’ll find that Quay ranks at the top of Google places results pages. Further at the right, you’ll find all the details about Quay which has helped it earn its place in Google Places which includes contact information, reviews and images of the restaurant along with their fine dishes. Imagine all the good it will do to have your business on such a page. Not bad at all right?
Can’t wait to get started? Let’s get right to it then!
Before you can start with free Places Google advertising though, you will need a couple of things:
A good description of your company, business or professional profile
A good image which is to represent your company, business or profession (logos, badge or pictures of your establishment)
Any promotion content you may want to advertise which includes vouchers or online coupons. You can also put up any additional information or details that you think will help bring in more people and boost your internet marketing campaign.
Now for the next step –setting up your account
To get free internet advertising via Google Places, you will of course have to setup everything first by logging on to http://www.google.com/places/. Click on the “Get Started” button under “Get your business found on Google” to get the ball rolling.
As you may already know, your Google account is linked to that of Google Places which is going to ask you for your location and contact number.Make sure that contact number you put in is a current and valid one. People seeing your business on Google Places as you make use of it as a web advertising solution will be looking for quick and convenient ways to contact you. If your business doesn’t have a valid number in there, prospects are likely to divert their interest somewhere else that does.
You may be surprised about the volume of people actually seeing your business through this free internet advertising solution so make sure that your contact information is always up to date and that you regularly check and respond to new inquiries.
Next you need to put in the required information about your business online for effective web advertising. Now there are circumstances in which Google Places many not be able to find any information about your business especially if it’s still only fairly new. In this case you’ll have to manually fill in all the information about your business – take your time, it’s free and well worth it!
After you’ve finished putting in all the necessary information, Google Places will automatically provide you with a preview on how your search engine marketing advertisement will appear. Just like the example mentioned above, it will be found on the right along with a map image.
Have your advertisement look exactly the way you wanted and keep you descriptions catchy and as short as possible. Descriptions should be right to the point and effectively summarizes what it is that you have to offer.
Next stop – you need to state specific areas or region wherein your products or services are available which is certainly important because without it, your business simply won’t show up on Google Places search results. Google Places only shows businesses within a certain range of users searching for a particular business or establishment so make sure to set it accordingly.
You’ll also have to set the locations in which your business actually caters to. This information will be shown on the map. There are several options that you could look into. Take your time – for example there is the option under “distance from one location” which would tell your customers that you only serve clients within a certain distance from your establishment.
You can also choose the other option “select the areas you serve” which is useful if your business only caters to specific cities or certain regions within a certain city.
State your business hours – don’t overlook this step, people certainly would want to know whether your business is open to them at a particular time. Google Places enables you to set this information for a truly effective Google advertising solution.
State your payment options – again another information that many users are bound to appreciate is to know in advance which payment methods you actually accept. It’s particularly useful if your business is all about selling a particular product or service.
Present good media content – Google places allows you to add visual content which you can use to generate more interest. Perhaps you’ve made videos about your business and what makes your products or services better than that of others?
Remember that visual content attracts interest quicker and better than plain text content. Thus it would certainly be in the best interest of internet marketing professional to leverage great and engaging visual content in their internet advertising strategies in any way they can.
Last but not least in free internet advertising with Google Places is to validate your business location. Doing so helps Google filter out fake ads and listings which could ruin the usefulness and relevance of its search functions.
After going through all the steps, Google will mail your business a postcard that contains all the information you need to validate the information you submitted. You may have to wait a couple of weeks for it though (as long as 3 weeks) which can be quite a pain but considering that this approach to Google advertising is free and can endow your business with much needed visibility and traffic, all that effort and time spent waiting are all certainly well worth it!