Google Local Search

Google Local Search is becoming more and more important for you and your business. It is a great way to add credibility and increase traffic to your website and physical location. Tony Roocroft wrote the article below as Google Local Search was starting to become recognised in South Africa…

Google Local Business Centre, Place Pages & Google Maps…A Taste of More to Come

I recently noticed that for the first time Google displayed in my Local Business Centre actual visitor stats to my Place Page. These stats have been shown to users in USA for months.

For April my maps listing was shown 5,404 times (Impressions) and 22 visitors viewed my Place Page.

These impressions were the direct result of my SEOza Place Page being found in Google’s search results. If I hadn’t created my place page then SEOza would not have appeared in the results and I would not have enjoyed those 22 visitors.

Of course 22 is not a lot but it is 22 more than I would normally have. Also contrast this with the fact that few people are aware of Google Maps still and this performance can only improve with time.

Google Maps South Africa is Way Behind USA

We can tell what will be happening in South Africa as far as local search and Google Maps is concerned by watching what has happened in the USA. On this basis expect to see the following improvements:

  • Service areas – this is now available. It allows businesses to show a service area on Google Maps without showing their specific address. This means it’s no longer necessary to show a private address making Google Maps much more convenient for individuals or home based businesses. Advertisement for the 7pack – it costs $25 to advertise a listing on the Google 7 pack
  • Business photos – It’s possible to include pictures of the inside of your business and post them on your Place Page. This means customers can actually take a peak inside your  physical location. This will be very important for businesses such as spas, hairdressers, restaurants etc where appearance is what really matters.
  • Coupons and real time updates – It’s already possible to add a coupon to a place page in South Africa but it’s not possible to post real time information. This is coming.
  • Customized QR Codes – This allows a business to provide a unique code that can be printed and scanned by some smart phones to take someone directly to your Place Page. This code can be printed on almost any type of print media including a business card.
  • Links – Google will now allow business owners to add discreet links on their Place Page.

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