Next time you do a search in Google, notice that cluster of listings at the top of the page with the A, B, C, etc. markers?
That’s Google Places, and it’s a FREE method for you to get your business placed on the first page of search results for your business keyphrases!
All you need to do is sign in or sign up for your free Google account (Is there anybody left that doesn’t have one?).
Then go to Google Places and just fill out as much information as you can. Google is going to verify your address, for your own protection and to make sure you really are where you say you are. Go right ahead now, you can trust Google!
One neat feature is that you don’t have to exactly show where you are on the map, just the general area your business serves. This is great if you work out of your home or want privacy.
This is something that you have to take advantage of sooner rather than later, because your competitors can also sign up and get their little marker on the map, too.
After your initial sign-up at Google Places, you can go back in and edit your descriptive paragraph and business category. One annoying thing is that you cannot make up your own category, you have to choose from Google’s limited list, at least for this free version.
We should expect there will be more ‘premium’ features for this and placement in the marker hirearchy as time goes on and Google seeks to montetize some services. But for now, this is something you have to be ‘marked’ on.