Archive for Local Business Center

Google Local Business Center is now Google Places

Once again, I got a surprise logging into my LBC this morning.  Google has changed the name of “Google Local Business Center” to “Google Places.”

This could mean any number of things.

  • Is Google moving away from a “business only” concept for their listings?
  • Are they changing the demographic they’re going after
  • Or is it simply that Google Places is less of a mouthful than Google Local Business Center?
Personally I think it’s the last one.  Any thoughts?

Google Local Business Center How-to Webinar or You’re Never Done Learning

I’m in the middle of Google’s Local Business Center How-to webinar and I wasn’t actually expecting to learn anything. I’m in the LBC many times throughout the day working on my customer’s listing. I thought that I had a complete understanding of all the tools and tricks that you can use in it, but I learned something new today.

In the “Additional Details” section, website addresses that you enter in are live on the listing. The specific examples that they used were a link to a pdf menu and a link to a restaurant’s “Reservations” page. While going back through some of my customer’s listings, I noticed that I had done it by accident in one of my customer’s listings, linking back to her old (not done by me!) website and domain name.
It’s a cool trick with a lot of functionality. Now I have to go back and implement it for dozens of customers!

Hallelujah and Praise the Lord: Service Areas and Location Settings in Google Place Pages

I logged into one of my customer’s Google Local Business Centers today and had a pleasant surprise. As you can see on the image, Google has finally addressed the problem of businesses that service customers outside of their immediate area. Until now, my customers with lawn services, out-call massage, and plumbing businesses had major issues coming up on the map outside of their immediate metropolitan areas.

Today they enabled the “Service Areas and Location Settings” area in the Local Business Center. Businesses have the option of choosing whether their customers come to their business location or if they serve customers at their address. They have the option of showing their address or not and they can choose which area they service. The service area can be chosen as a radius from their address, or they can put in geo-modifiers such as zip code, city name, or even county name. I used both methods for several of my customers, choosing a radius or choosing counties or cities as appropriate.
It’s too soon to determine how this new option will affect rankings or if hiding your address has a positive or negative affect on listings. This literally changes how I advise my customers in their local search efforts. I’ll let you know my results as time goes on.

Post To Your Place Page – New on Google Place Pages

I was working on one of my customer’s place pages, as I do on a daily basis, when I came across a new tool in the top right-hand corner. The option to place a message on my customer’s place page that expires in 30 days.

I called the customer for a quick blurb to try out the new tool and here’s how it looks.

A great tool that my customers have been asking for. Try it out today.

Google Maps and free business local listings

The bottom line? Google is mapping the planet one place at a time and providing it for us in Place Pages. The information gathered in different ways, is enhanced, in typical Google fashion, by users around the globe making it more human, more useful. Can SMBs benefit? A Google SVP recently spoke about Maps and noted: “Everything is finally in place to enable small businesses to connect with customers online”.

These technologies and the competitive implications of Google’s moves to map everything including local businesses means that if you are not using the internet to YOUR business’ full advantage today, you are simply missing out.

FREE ADVICE if you haven’t claimed your Google local business listing already: watch this two minute video brought to you by Google to learn how. IT IS FREE!

Today in the US alone, there are almost 1billion searches with local intent from consumers which are ready to buy a product or service. Searches are getting longer, more granular. Down to the city or zip code, niche service, brand, model, or whatever your company sells.

Furthermore, geospatial information is the building block for the whole next generation of user experience from smart phones to virtual reality. More reason to do something now if you want to take advantage of emerging opportunities. It is not when you are going to do something for your business to BE FOUND…it is a matter of when.

We believe your business is #1 and is 100% effective in getting it there. Visit our FAQs tab and I will show you how to get your local listing to the #1 spot. Our pricing (see Packages tab) is yet another reason why your business local listing can’t wait.

Call me for a free consultation about how to make your business local listing #1…especially when a user queries for that specific brand you carry or any product or service you offer.

Increase visibility. Increase sales.

Get your SMB on the map today!

Michael Alfonso
Business Local Listings – South Florida