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How to Set Up Your Google Places Profile

Setting up a Google+ profile and Google+ Local are great ways to take advantage of the potential from local customers who are geographically close to you, and to passing trade. Increasingly, businesses that are looking for local trade, like small retailers and service business, are finding that Google Places and Google Maps are playing an important part in ensuring their customers can find them. Here’s how to set up your Google Places Profile.A Google Places Profile is a Google+ page for a local business. In fact, it is for nay business because all of them are local somewhere!It opens up a great opportunity for you to engage with your local customers, thanks to mobile web and the easy access to Wifi we all have. There is no doubt that it will improve your visibility online and it will bring new potential customers to your door.It is particularly powerful because it is natural or organic traffic that it generates. If your profile has been set up properly, it will be found by the people who are looking for you – no adverts or traditional marketing is required. And of course, it’s free! So there really is very little reason to ignore this method of promoting your business.The first step is to claim your listing and then verify your website and email address. This is easy to do. Google will send you a code that you will validate and that’s it. Include as much information about your business as possible. The more detail you add the better your profile will be and the more qualified your leads will be with people who find you.After your profile is set up the next step is to start to build your circle of contacts. Search for people and businesses that you know. Google+ is growing in popularity so there is little doubt that you will be able to build your network quickly.Every time you post an update, your circle will be notified. It’s a great way to encourage regular followers to read your articles, and to ensure you are maintaining contact with people in your network. It is all about visibility and natural two-way communication with people online, and in that respect, it is the perfect platform. Don’t just connect with people and business you know. It is always a good idea to connect with people who are leading names, authorities or influencers in your field of interest or business. If you are connected to the right influencers, you will pick up new contacts and additional followers.Google + Local is another aspect of this service. It is a directory that has replaced the ‘places’ listing which was available in the past. Because you have set up your profile, it is easy to transfer your information to Google places quickly and easily. Google indicates that an amazing 40% of searches are conducted by users who are hoping to shop locally. Our use of the internet has changed. We are not staying online only for your purchases. We are using it as a huge global directory to find the products and services we need, wherever we are.