Specifically, Google as usual is blazing the trail in highlighting local business owners’ businesses within each locality, to interested parties on the web.
This becomes significant within the background of statistical information which reveals that 97% of people conduct research online before buying locally.
As a quick comment, the above statistics must have much more application to the developed economies where internet has gained grounds considerably, than the developing ones such as in Africa.
It is noteworthy though to state that even the developing countries have started taking giant strides towards making progress on the information super highway.
According to Google also, “One out of five searches on Google are related to location”.
Google started out with “Place Pages” in September 2009 and now the “Local Business Center” has become “Google Places” where local businesses can claim their FREE business listing that appears on local search results on Google Search and Google Maps.
Relevant business information such as the underlisted, are saved and featured :
- Business Name
- Business Web Address
- Business Physical Address
- State and Country
- Product Offerings
- Hours Of Operation
- Brief Business Description
- Business Pictures
- Business Videos Uploaded Via YouTube
- Google Generated Map Indicating Physical Location Of Business
The usefulness of this it must be reiterated, becomes apparent when viewed in relation to the statistical information, which revealed that 97% of people conduct research online before buying locally, as well as Google revealed information, that “One out of five searches on Google are related to location”.
If your local business is thus strategically positioned in “Google Places” ready to be “harvested”, naturally, you will be doing yourself and your business a lot of good.
The local business owner can include as many local businesses as he chooses.
There is even a provision to enable local business owners attract new customers by including a coupon alongside their business listing in Google Maps.
Creating a coupon is free, and only takes a few minutes. You can create as many coupons as you want.
It also lets local business owners communicate with customers and get insights that help them make smart business decisions.
Google has even gone a step further to introduce “Google Boost”
This is a new online advertising solution which will further help local businesses connect with potential customers in their area.
Though still in beta, “Boost” will enable local business owners to easily create online search ads directly from within their Google Places account. No ongoing management is needed after the initial set up.
Boost ads are eligible to appear in the “Sponsored Links” section of Google.com and Google Maps search result pages.
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