Try this exercise: go to Google and search for your business name and location.
For comparison, here’s what comes up if you search for “brand5 la jolla”:
Does the top result for your search include a link to your website, a map, and a link to “more information”? If so, your business is part of Google’s Place Pages.
If you do see something like the picture above, who is controlling the content for that Place Page? Here’s a hint: it’s either you or Google.
If you have already created a Place Page on your own or claimed ownership, congrats! If you haven’t, then make sure you do so right away through Google’s Local Business Center (you’ll need a Google account to do so).
Who cares about Place Pages? Every business owner should. According to Google, “A Place Page is a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it. By every place, we really mean *every* place — there are Place Pages for businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world.”
Here’s a screenshot of what Brand5’s Place Page looks like (again, you get this page if you click “more information” in the search results:
So, whether you like it or not, Google will create a page for your business (especially if it can be associated with an address on Google Maps). Since that is reality, it’s your responsibility to make sure that page is updated and reflective of your brand.
Here’s why: even though Google promises not to index these pages, some traffic will inevitably find these pages before they find your website. That means you have another landing page out there that could mean the difference between potential business choosing you over the competition.
Here are 4 ways to optimize your place page:
1. Make sure all of your general info (address, phone number, store hours, services offered) is current and accurate. That means every time you change similar info on your website, you have to update your Place page.
2. Add images and videos of your location or services. Anything you can do to personalize either your location or the services you offer will go a long way towards selling to your customers. For example, if you have a restaraunt, post some images of your clean, beautiful eatery as well as some shots of your food.
3. Offer a coupon. Give Place Page visitors a unique offer that can’t be found anywhere else. That will help you track your page’s effectiveness and popularity.
4. If you don’t have any reviews, get some! Either get past customers to go to your Yelp profile and post a review (they’ll automatically populate on your Place Page) or have them leave one directly on Google (there’s a prompt on your Place Page).
Place Pages won’t ever be more important that your own website, but this is another lesson in the importance of maintaining all of the touch points that people use to find your business.