Get more people in your store with Google Places
Savvy business owners know the way to get more foot traffic into their stores is to attract online traffic to their websites first. With limited budgets and increasing competition, more small to medium-sized businesses use search engine optimization (SEO) and local search techniques to stay ahead of the competition.
“Having a great website isn’t enough for businesses to compete anymore,” says Marc Joffe, principal and founder of Mass Media Marketing. “Most businesses have visually engaging websites, but if their customers can’t find them using search engines like Google, it defeats the purpose of having a website and an online presence.”
Traditionally, small businesses relied on walk-in traffic, word-of-mouth referrals and print advertising to get people into their stores. Today, people are more comfortable searching and doing research online before they visit a store.
In response, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are expanding their advertising strategies to include online channels like targeted emails, SEO techniques and online marketing, up from 22 per cent in 2008, to 36.8 per cent in 2009.
Whether people are searching from their smartphones or personal computers, the results they find are based on how optimized a website is. Google is still the number one search engine used by people and it now offers Google Places, to help people find businesses in their local area.
Google Places is a free business listing that drives local traffic to websites. Say you want to find the best sushi restaurant near your home. Type in “Sushi restaurants in Vancouver” and Google Places will display the top several business results in the area. It will show you where to find sushi places on a map, as well as reviews from its customers so you can make the best choice.
“If a website is optimized for Google Places, customers can research a business and even include their own comments and reviews,” says Joffe. “The benefits are that a business will stand out to local customers who want your exact product or service. Once you’re listed, you need to optimize your listing using different techniques to encourage people to visit your store.”
Depending on the type of business, Google Places offers a variety of tools to boost online traffic as well as in-store traffic, with coupons, photos and videos to links that will display a business’ menu or product page.
“It’s critical to stand out from the competition on a global scale, but for small businesses who want more foot traffic, Google Places is the right advertising tool. It displays a ‘seven-pack’ of the top optimized listings to match the search words and city name. After those top seven picks, most people don’t usually search any further.”
Ingrid de Jong Joffe
Attract Traffic. Get More Business Today
Need the advantage of an online marketing consultant? My name is Marc Joffe and I have broad international experience in display, search, and social media. As a commercially minded search marketer that’s what I love to do. I work from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and make a great Dutch “toastie.” @massmediamarket. I vlog about display, seo and marketing. Subscribe to my new youTube channel