Search for a local business on Google, and I bet you the first thing you see are those pesky Sponsored Links. Only about 20% of searches ever click on those links. Just because your business is paying to be there, maybe more than another business, doesn’t mean that you are more relevant than other sites I might find on my search. That’s most searches mind frame. A huge mistake I see a lot of small businesses make is to advertise with Google AdWords, and Optimize their websites for Google and Bing and the other search engines, but they simply ignore Google Places. If you look just below the Sponsored Links section, if you are searching for a local business or service, there is a map. On this map, there are businesses listed. Now I’m just guessing that you would want your business on that map when relevant search queries are submitted. So, why the heck are business owners ignoring this absolutely free service that Google and Bing and Yahoo all offer?!
When I’m looking for services in Phoenix, like holistic medicine, or Buddhist meditation centers, yes I have a high stress job so I meditate, deal with it, when I type those search queries into Google or Bing with a local Phoenix Geo attached to them, the first thing I check out is the map. Whats close? Is it easy to get to? Do I know the hood its in? I can instantly get directions from anywhere, I can see business hours, and figure out whether or not I need to bring cash or if they accept my Diners Card. This is an awesome tool for local business owners. Google allows you to add nearly as much information as you want to describe your business. And hey, if you can’t do that on your own, maybe you are in the wrong business!