Google Places #1 Most Critical Site on the Web for Small Business by a Longshot
You spent HOW MUCH on your website? $1000, $2000, $3000? More?
How's your blog doing? Making you any money?
What is your current ROI on Adwords?
Can you give me a count of the number of clients you've gotten from Facebook advertising?
Then there's the time you've taken to set up Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google + and YouTube.
All of the above can drive traffic to your business. I know. That's what I do. I help small businesses increase their sales and profits from using the above resources in a way that actually can produce measurable results.
But, far and away, the most important adverting space on the web or anywhere else in 2013 for a local small business is Google Places. How much time and money have you spent making sure you are on the front page for Google Places for all the keywords and cities you care about. $50? $100? None. You've spent how many hours trying to do it yourself. 5? 20? For some clients that sell expensive products or services, a properly optimized Google Places listing can be worth $1000's of dollars per month in profits. Even for retailers whose price points are closer to $10, the additional foot traffic from Google Places can add substantially to the bottom line.
Unlike other places you advertise, your Google Places listing, once optimized, is likely to provide you with dividends months into the future with only minor tweaking. So the question becomes how much SHOULD you be spending on Google Places? For most business, the answer is at least $500 a month, and possibly $1000 or more.
But there is no need to do that. If you can't afford anything, do it yourself. Yes, as you can imagine, anything this important is going to take a ton of time to be competitive. But, you either need to spend the time or the money. If you'd prefer the DIY approach, I am happy to help you.
I have this other blog that you might be interested in if you are really into the details of SEO and SEM. The entire effort at http://www.GooglePlacesHelp.blogspot.com is a DIY for those who want to go it alone on Google Places listings and optimization. Now that Google+ Local has almost completed the merger with Google Places, it seemed fitting to create a detailed analysis of the top ten ranking factors for Google Places and Google+ Local.
For a synopsis of those 10 posts, you can see a Press Release I just issued at http://bit.ly/GoogleLocalPR.
If you are reading this blog, you obviously take this stuff seriously. Link up with me on LinkedIn, and join me at Google+. These are the places where I'm active. Love to see you there.