Monday, March 11, 2013

Google Places Still Most Important Resource on the Internet for SMB

Small Business Owners Continue to Ignore Google Places at their Peril

Last week I published a post Google Places Ranking Factors - Google+ Local Ranking Factors
on another blog I write.  Quoting myself: "But far and away the most important adverting space on the web or anywhere else in 2013 for a local small business is Google Places."  In that post I make the case that some who recognize the power of Google Places are still not spending the time and money they could and should in order to get the ranking that will matter.

In this post I intend to attack the issue from another POV.  Some owners of local small businesses aren't paying any attention at all to Google Places.  And I have no doubt that some in that category are still successful.  Maybe they're doing great with Facebook or FourSquare or YouTube videos or Living Social or a newspaper ad.   Maybe they or you have tons of business, because your products and or service is so excellent that referrals are all you need.  Or in many cases, I'm guessing, you figure it is too time consuming or too expensive to get the results you need.

Some of those same folks who have given up or never tried to get the organic presence through their website or Google Places, seem content to pour $500, $1000 or more into Google Adwords.  And while I know there are those who profit from this strategy, the problem is, the cost never ends, but the benefits end the day after you stop the campaign.

And, while ending some amount of caretaking of a Google Places listing might result in some loss of impressions, the cost per month for keeping Places in place should be in the $100 range or a couple of hours or so per month.


I promised you a peril.  You see, if you are profitable at this time and reasonably happy with your income, whose to say you should invest in making sure Google Places is sending you new clients.  Your competitors are getting some or all of those clients that could have been yours, but "good for them," you might think.  There's enough to go around.

Here's the rub!  Google Places is attached to Google Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!  And if it isn't attached already, it will be soon:
  •  Google+ - the 2nd largest social media act in the world.  Soon to be #1
  •  Google+ Business Pages - Will someday replace Places, we think
  •  Google Maps - the current #1 mapping project in the world
  •  YouTube - By far the largest photo repository and second largest search engine
  •  Google Search - 75% of all search activity on the internet
  •  Blogger - 2nd largest blogging platform - now linked to Google +
  •  Google Alerts and Google Reader
  •  Oh Yeah!  Android
The list could go on and on.  So imagine that you have created 10 companies that each perform a different, but somewhat related function.  All 10 are wildly successful.  Now you decide to put all of these companies on one campus and have them connected every way possible.  You have the makings of a superpowerhouse.  

You can choose to ignore all this.  You can choose to give it a small nod.  You can choose to allocate a few dollars a month to work on it.  But for most small businesses selling products or services in a local area...You need to be actively infused into this environment.  One or more of your competitors will be.


If this is your first time here, please note that this blog has been set up to provide all the tools and information you could possibly need to set up a Google Places Account.  Feel free to browse through the articles and the pages that give detailed step-by-step instructions, including what not to do, and what actually works to optimize your Google Places Site.

We will shortly begin to offer similar articles and pages on Google+ Local Business Pages.  We feel that Google, as usual, has put this product out way before it was ready.  We have been waiting for the dust to settle before making our recommendations.

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If you are a content creator or want to be, you may want to visit my blog on content creation, management, and automation:  Content Marketing for Google

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