Free Marketing Ideas

Tightening up the Purse Strings

Did you know that 73 percent of online searches are for local businesses? If you have yet to set up your Google Places account, you could be missing out on serious customers. It helps to create a solid online presence so your customers can come to your business for everything they need. How can you establish your business with Google and start the marketing process? Here are some tips to follow to create an effective online presence.

Creating Your Account

To get started, you will need to claim your business listing. This is a straightforward process as you simply need to click “claim my business” or submit your information to Google. Once you have started this process, there will be several questions pertaining to your identification. Google will call the phone number listed in your business profile, or they will send you a postcard with a verification code. This code must be entered before you can start editing your Google listing. The information found on Google is linked to a number of other websites where customers have left reviews, pictures, and other things. Once you claim your business listing, you can start editing the information and list relevant content to your customers. You need to add several details including the following:

  • Business hours
  • Payment options
  • Product offerings
  • Pictures
  • Business phone number

Business Photos

The images linked to your business listing may not be accurate. This happens frequently as customers upload images and they become tagged to your business listing from other websites. Due to this, you need to focus on adding your own images. These images can include keywords that are relevant to your business. Depending upon the business you run, you may want to consider using Google Business Photos. Google Business Photos allows customers to see a 360-degree image of your business. Google will be responsible forchoosing the photographer that comes to your business. You are not allowed a large number of pictures so carefully select the ones that you upload.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

When businesses first started using Google for marketing, many of them engaged in keyword stuffing. This still occurs, and it can easily ruin your credibility with the search engine giant. Avoid using too many keywords when you upload your pictures and content. The goal is to provide customers with valuable information. Google will place a great deal of importance on the address and store phone number over keywords. Always include a local phone number so it can become relevant for local search tools. With local search, small details will make a difference. You need to list different address spellings such as 250 N. and 250 North. Listing both options in your profile will help to narrow down the individuals searching for your business.


As you are creating an effective Google Places listing, focus on simplicity. Adding extra words to describe your business can hurt your listing. Focus on using a short description instead of including “Since 1980, we have been proud to serve the community of San Mateo.” Google will rank companies higher for a listing that simply states the establishment date, products offered, and phone number. Keep it short and simple and you will become successful in this new local search marketing world.