We talk quite a bit on this blog about branding your organization and modeling the public’s perception of your talents and achievements. So it is not a surprise that we place quite a bit of emphasis on an organization’s listing with Google.
Google announced yesterday that they’ve rebranded their Local Business Center as Google Places. Google Places enables business owners to manage their presence on Google. What better online branding tool could you find? None.
Google Places will continue to offer these same tools, but the new name will simplify the connection with Place Pages. This reflects our ongoing commitment to providing business owners with powerful yet easy-to-use tools.
We’re also introducing several new features:
- Service areas: If you travel to serve customers, you can now show which geographic areas you serve. And if you run a business without a storefront or office location, you can now make your address private.
- A new, simple way to advertise: For just $25 per month, businesses in select cities can make their listings stand out on Google.com and Google Maps with Tags. As of today, we’re rolling out Tags to three new cities — Austin, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. — in addition to ongoing availability in Houston and San Jose, CA. In the coming weeks we’ll also be introducing Tags in Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco.
- Business photo shoots: In addition to uploading their own photos, businesses in select cities can now request a free photo shoot of the interior of their business which we’ll use to supplement existing photos of businesses on Place Pages. We’ve been experimenting with this over the past few months, and now have created a site for businesses to learn more and express their interest in participating.
- Customized QR codes: From the dashboard page of Google Places, businesses in the U.S. can download a QR code that’s unique to their business, directly from their dashboard page. QR codes can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, and customers can scan them with certain smartphones to be taken directly to the mobile version of the Place Page for that business.
- Favorite Places: We’re doing a second round of our Favorite Places program, and are mailing window decals to 50,000 businesses around the U.S. These decals include a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to directly view the mobile Place Page for the business to learn more about their great offerings.
Don’t wait. Have you setup your Google Places Page?
Today is the perfect time to setup your Google Places page if you have not yet done so. SEO is too important for the success of your inbound marketing initiatives that generate quality leads for your sales funnel.
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