Move Over Local Business Directory Listing (LBDL), Hello Google Places!
As many of you have already noticed Google went through a bit of a change over the past several months as it decided to change the name of its Local Business Directory Listing (LBDL) to “Google Places.” This included a few other changes/extra features as well—and those changes are worth noting in order to fully utilize the tools available to you to help drive customers to your business! From new map options to driving customers with the help of smartphones, there are a number of features you need to be aware of.
If you offer services to your customer base within a certain area you can show this on the map. You can also make your business address private.
For $25/month a company can include a “tag” that shows up next to their business in Google maps. This tag can show a special or custom message created by the business owner (e.g., a message promoting in-store sales or an online sweepstakes). This is currently being offered in a selected group of cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Houston, Mountain View, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington D.C.
Business Photo Shoots
Just like Google maps shows actual photographs of your business’ street and store front, if you live in a selected city you can apply to have a Google photographer come to your place of business for a free photo shoot. Upon completion, those photos can be uploaded to your Google Places account and shared with your customers in Google maps. Now, customers can pay a virtual visit to your store at their convenience.
A QR (quick reference) code is similar to a product bar code. It allows any smartphone equipped with a capable QR reader to scan the code and go to a pre-specified URL. Now, you can download a custom QR (quick reference) code that is specific to your business from Google Places and place the code anywhere you like in order to drive customers to your site. Imagine posting the QR code in an advertisement and allowing customers to scan the ad code and be directed to a 20% off coupon on your website!
Google sent window decals with QR codes on them to 50,000 businesses around the United States. These decals can be scanned by smartphones with capable code readers and directed to a pre-specified URL. Imagine stopping in to eat at a new restaurant in town: as you walk in you scan to download a coupon for a free appetizer and as you walk out you scan to write a customer review! All from your smartphone.
The over-arching idea is that Google wants to allow real-time updates to the Google Places section by business owners while maintaining the integrity of those updates. Overall, offering businesses a great way to interact with existing and potential customers and build their business both online and real-world.
Let us come to you! NetSearch Direct can help your business navigate the online environment to better understand today’s online consumer. To setup an informational session, please contact Kate Snowa at 1-800-418-8505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.