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Did you know that 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device will call or go to that business within 24 hours? Just think of what kind of business you are losing if your contact information is listed incorrectly online. As a local business owner it is important that you make sure that your business is well represented online. Registering your business with Google Places is one easy way to make sure that your customers find the right contact information they need.

Google.com and Google Maps have developed a magnificent search engine and mapping system of the world. It’s time for you to take advantage of it. Although your business may already be listed in the search results on your computer, registering with Google Places will make it that much easier for your customers to find the correct information quickly.

Google Places is an easy way for local business owners to list their information in the right hand corner of Google searches.

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With Google Places, you can easily enter your local business location and update hours, address, contact information and photos. There are special features you can add to make it easier for your customers to buy tickets, explore a panorama of your store or follow your local business page on Google+. You can maximize your business’s online presence on Google Places with Google+, Google AdWords and Google Offers. Using these tools will help you build the online presence that you need to get your customers in the door.

First Step: Sign In

Simply use your Gmail account to sign in to Google Places. That’s the great thing about using Google tools; they are all connected by one account. If you don’t have a Gmail account, sign up for a free account today.

Second Step: Verify Business Account

Look up your business on the map and verify your business by phone or postcard. You will either receive an automated phone call or a postcard in the mail to verify that you own the business.

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Third Step: Fill In Information

Fill in your correct business name, address, contact information, category, hours, photos and description. You can even set up an appointment with one of Google’s trusted associate photographers to get your business photographed. The photographer will take beautiful panoramic photos and can even create a virtual tour of your business online. The cost of the photo shoot is based on how much each individual photographer charges. Once your account is verified, your listing and photos will show up across Google in Google Maps, Search and Earth. You can even use Insights to watch your audience and see how many people are searching and clicking on your Google Places listing.

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Maximizing Google Places with Google+

Just like many other social media tools, Google+ is catered to help you connect with your audience. Google+ has developed different types of page categories to make Google+ more convenient for its users. Using the “Local Business or Place” page category you can create a Google+ page just for your local business. Its features will allow your customers to more easily connect with the physical location of your business. Local business pages on Google+ have all of the same functionality of regular Google+ pages, but also have the added features of local maps, contact information and reviews. Make the page visually stand out with photos and your virtual tour. Share updates, market your business and provide customer service through Google+. The more you interact with customers online, the more your customers will trust and appreciate your brand.

Extending Reach with AdWords

Make your website and contact information readily available with an extra push from Google AdWords Express. In Google Places’ premium package you can create ads with Google AdWords Express that show up in the top of Google searches. When people in your local area enter keywords that match your business, your ad will show up in the salmon section at the top or in the right column in Google Search.

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You will be charged every time a potential customer clicks the ad to go to your website or to call you. You can set a daily budget and Google will only display your ad as long as you have money left in your budget for that day. You can set up your ad campaign easily through Google AdWords Express.

Drawing in More Customers with Google Offers

One more way to draw in more customers online is to use Google Offers with Google Places. You can create offers that will be sent out to possible customers in your local area. Customers can find your offers on Google+, the Google Offers website, and mobile app for Offers and Wallet. To redeem these offers customers can simply show you the offers on their phone.

Don’t let your internet savvy customers pass you up because you aren’t available online. Do your best to keep your customers interested with interesting content and good deals and use Google places to draw in more customers to your local business.

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