Google Places is a fantastic tool designed to allow small businesses to attract more customers. Yahoo! and Bing also have comparable sites and these tactics will work there too, but because Google is the king of search, you should focus your efforts there first. Setting up your local search profile at each of these sites is free and gives you the ability to add and edit the information listed on Google maps when customers search for your business, products, or services.Considering that the traditional methods of using newspaper and yellow pages ads are no longer as effective as they were in the past, Google Places and local search is now the best tool for you to use to have your business growing successfully day by day. It’s easy to use and signing up is very simple. Once you’re signed up, though, you need to customize your profile to draw customers in and get them to click you links. Add CouponsCoupons are a great way to attract customers to just about any store. We all like to save money or find a special deal. Google, Yahoo! and Bing all understand this give you the opportunity to add coupons to the information displayed about your business.Note: Coupons can not only draw your customers in, but give them a reason to introduce you to their friends as well. If you offer a special discount for referrals or first-time customers when they mention your site, you can add even more power to this tactic!Add TagsTags are the perfect way to highlight your business and make it stand out among your. Tags are yellow markers placed on a Google Map of your local area. They give you to opportunity to attract more customers by displaying what makes your business unique or any area of your Google Place page that you want to make sure prospects don’t miss.Tags can be used to direct prospects to your website, photos, coupons, menu, directions, videos, or just about anything you choose that concerns your business. This is the one part of your Google Places listing that’s not free, however…there’s a $25 per month charge. The good part of this, however, is that because of the fee, most of your competitors probably won’t use it…so you can truly set yourself apart.Bonus: Try using tags for a few months with a tracking phone number or special coupon offer so you can see if the monthly fee is worth it to you.Add Photos and Videos Google Places, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local also give you the option of brightening up your listing by adding photos and videos of your business as well. In certain locales, Google will even supply a photographer to take pictures for you for free!Photos let your potential customers see your business, your employees, and your store so they know what to expect before they come to you. Video, on the other hand, lets you begin building a relationship with them while they’re still on Google or your site.Local search is replacing your Yellow Pages ads, direct mail, and newspaper ads. Your customers can find the answers they’re looking for and the local businesses like you that provide the solutions they’re looking for. By ranking well in Google’s 7 pack or 10 pack ads, you guarantee yourself more website visitors…and by following these three tips, you’re guaranteed to convert more of those visitors into customers.
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