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We all know the phone book died a slow death a long time ago. But are you aware that 97% of customers search for local businesses online? As a small business owner, you must claim, optimize and work your Google Places local listing.
Think of your Google Places as the electronic version of the old, big Yellow Pages phone book. Consumers may search Google to find a business’s phone number or address, but Google provides a lot more information than the Yellow Pages. Google offers information such as operating hours, payment methods, deals or offers, and customer reviews.
After you’ve claimed and optimized your Google Places local listing, your next goal is to work on obtaining reviews from your customers.
Here is a short list of directions that you can share with your customers to make the process of writing a Google Places review easier.
Google stopped using third party review sites such as City Search and Yelp to augment your total reviews on your Google Places page about six month ago. This make the Google Places review even more important than before. Your reviews are one of the variables that Google considers when determining which places pages rank highest in the search result pages.
Keep asking all of your clients for reviews … and encourage them to review you on Google Places!