Google Places How-To Webinar

Google Places How-To Webinar


Okay, good morning everybody!
I am happy to have all of you here joining this webinar.
I am going to get started now. So again, I am very excited to have you here
and excited to talk about Google Places. So I am going to cover the basic sign-up processes
to add and edit a listing and I will talk briefly about bulk uploads and I will talk
more about your Place page what it looks like for users externally and lastly, just a quick
troubleshooting tip. There is a lot to cover about Google Places.
If there are things we do not get to today, we will be sending a survey form so you can
express interests in other topics and we will schedule more webinars to go into more details
and go into these topics. Okay! Let us get started.
First, I want to talk about the exciting features you may or may not be aware of. First step is a screen shot of a compartment
that appears on a business Place Page. You can find out what others are saying about
a specific aspect of a business (say, the price, the service, or the infamous deep dish
pizza) from all over the web. We look for pages that talk about places and
analyze content on those pages that express a sentiment (i.e., a positive or negative
comment) about that place. We display snippets of the sentiment to help
you discover the best sources of information about the specific topic of interest.
The colored bars quickly show you how the business rates on each feature.
If you’d like to know more about a certain aspect, you can visit the source of the review
and read the entire review. Our goal is to give users a glimpse of feedback
this business has received. Next up is a recent feature accessible through
your Google Places account. It is called Post to your Place Page. This recent feature allows business owners
to post announcements or updates to their listings Place Page. This allows a more real
time method for a business owner to connect with users through short announcements.
Some great things to announce: Free chips and guacamole before 7pm or closed this Friday,
April 30 to restock our inventory. Once you post an update, it will appear on
your business Place Page within minutes. Our newest feature that I am happy to talk
about is Service Areas. We realized that not all businesses serve
customers from a brick and mortar storefront. To best serve these types of businesses, we
recently introduced the ability to set service areas. So in geographical terms, you specify
a region OR a neighborhood where you are willing to travel to serve customers.
We will talk more about service areas later on.
Last step is Street View. Most of you are probably already familiar with Street View
imagery. It is always worth pointing out though because
our imagery collections are expanding. It is becoming a nifty tool for users to check
out a destination before they ever get there, whether it is a big family vacation to Hawaii
or familiarizing yourself with public parking near a restaurant. It is also useful to know that if we have
street view imagery for your business address. We will show it on the Place Page. For service
area businesses who choose to hide the address. We will not show any street view imagery. Now that I have highlighted some features
that I am excited about. Let us get focused on what you all specifically here for: Business
Listings on Google. Every business, including most of yours, has
a place on Google. Let us walk through the steps users take to find you. Pretend I am trying to find a birthday present
for my husband. He always loves the clothes for American Apparel so maybe I should try
to pick one up in San Francisco this weekend when I head up for the day. I will start my search on Google.com. Since
I know what I am looking for, I will do a pretty narrow search for American Apparel
San Francisco. I can see from the three packs on Google that
I have 3 good options. Let me just take a closer look at the map to check out what seems
easiest to commute to. Now that I am Maps, I can more specifics about
each store location, major cross streets, and I can tell which freeways are closest
to which stores. Oh good! I see a location on Union Street.
That is actually really convenient that it is close to Lombard Street. I am kind of curious
if they have their hours of operation available. So let me check out more details about this
store. I will go ahead and click More Info to find out more.
Now I am on American Apparel Place Page for the Union Street Location. Hopefully you can see closely all of the great
information that is provided on this businessesÕ place page: there are some great photos of
the interior of the store; information about wi-fi; a note about an award: they won Label
of the Year in 2008. I can also tell that this listing contains
information directly from the business owner. You can see that above the image of the interior
of the store, there is an Owner Verified listings stamp to show that this is a Google Places
verified listing. Once I figure out where to go to buy my husband
a shirt, I figure I may as well try to look nice and take it up a notch so I will get
my nails done. I am trying to figure out where to get my
nails done. So I go through the steps of searching on
Google; then to Maps; then to check out a nail salon that happens to be nearby.
Let me show you the nail salon place page so you can see the difference between a business
fully taking advantage of its online presence, and that of a business whose online presence
is pretty minimal. The first thing I want to point out here is
that this listing is not claimed or verified by the business owner. At first glance, this
listing is pretty scarce. In my own personal experience, if I am looking for a nail salon,
I care about two things: what the hours are, and if they take credit card here. This is
the kind of information that would influence me to bring my business to a location or not.
These simple things are really easy to add as the business owner. So definitely think
about what kinds of information would be most relevant for your business type. Okay, so now that we have looked at the differences
between a well done complete listing and an unclaimed listing, Hopefully you understand
why it is important to really take ownership of your online presence.
So why should business owners sign up for Google Places? It is free: there is no cost to create a Google
Places account. Second: Take ownership of your online presence
because more and more people spend a lot of time online. For some businesses, an online
presence is almost as important as having a physical storefront. Third: You are the best person to provide
details and information about your business. Ensure the correct information appears correctly
on Google. The information we get from various third parties is not always correct and most
certainly not as comprehensive as what you can provide. Lastly, you get stats on how many people saw
your business in the search results and how many times they clicked on it, in other words:
impressions and actions. I will show more about these stats in a slide later on.
Now that you have some information about the benefits of Google Places, I want get you
started with a good tip for creating your actual Google Places account.
To sign up for a Google Places account, you need a Google account. A lot of people actually do not understand
what a Google account is so I will take a second to explain.
A Google account is a free account you create when you sign up for a Google product or service.
It does NOT have to be a Gmail address. In fact, we actually prefer Google accounts
that have the business name in the domain instead of Gmail accounts. This helps us understand
and verify that this account actually represents the business. Secondly, if you want more than one person
to be editing your account, You will need to share login information, including your
password. So if you use your personal Gmail account, You will be sharing the password
for that. I think the visual gives a big more insight.
For the business Poly Engineering, an email address with Poly Eng Powder in the domain
is a great signal. It is also not a personal address: [email protected] Well, that
is just questionable for many reasons. Okay, so once you decided which Google account
you would like to use to manage your Google Places listing, it is time to log in.
Head to google.com/places Choose: Add new business There is another option for uploading data
files if you manage more than 10 locations. I will cover that after I walk you through
these steps. So go ahead and click: Add new business. You will see a similar page to this to add
your business listing information so hopefully this looks familiar.
Next, I am going to walk step by step through each field and provide guidance on how to
input your information. The first line here seems like it should be
obvious: your Company/ Organization. This is REALLY IMPORTANT. You MUST represent
your business online the same as it is in the real world. My business I am entering here is Poly Engineering.
This is the business title on letterhead and on the sign. This is what I should put on
Google. An inappropriate title would be: Poly Engineering:
sand blasting, powder coating on metal, rust prevention, and more
That is not on my company letterhead, nor would it even fit on there, so it should not
be on my Google listing. Lets continue down the sign up flow.
So next up is Street Address. It is crucial that you put the correct street address here
for two reasons: 1) You want customers, right? Then give the
correct address so we put the maps marker in the correct location.
2) We need to verify that the business actually exists here If you are a home based business and are concerned
about your address showing OR if there is simply no way business can come to you (if
you operate a mobile service entirely), You will be able to hide your address later. Since you can later hide your address, do
not use a PO Box and do not use an intersection or street name in place of a real address. Lets continue down to phone number.
On the phone number, make sure you provide the most local phone number that is available.
Be careful of the format here, you will want to make sure you input numbers only. My classic example is when I am staying at
a hotel. If I leave my wallet at the hotel and I need to see if housekeeping picked it
up, I need the phone number of that hotel front desk. If I look up the hotel and find
a 1800 reservation number, I am going to be sent on a wild goose chase. So the moral of
the story is: give the phone number of the location.
Next up is email address. This is an optional field. Only include an email address here
if you have a publicly available email address. Do not give your Google email address unless
you are prepared to receive emails here. Lets continue.
Website is another optional field. However, it is a great way to drive people to your
business website if you have one. The description field allows you to provide
users with the most helpful information relevant to this business. Especially if your business
name is not very descriptive, the description lets you go into more detail. So for instance: Poly Engineering is kind
of an obscure title of a business so I used the description field to explain what exactly
Poly Engineering is. The key takeaways here: provide quality readable
descriptions that you want to show up on your place page. Okay, lets talk about categories next. Lastly â categories
Every business listing must have at least one Google-suggested category. How do you
get a Google suggested category? Just start typing the first few letters of the category
you would use to describe your business. You will see some suggestions come up. Choose
the one that best describes your business. After you have chosen one Google category,
you can enter up to four more customized categories. So if the Google category you choose isnÕt
as narrow as your business, you can use a customized category to get more granular.
For the powder coating business, at least one of the categories to describe this business
was found by Google. I added a few more to make sure I encompass every service this business
offers. Alright, so We are done entering the basic
information here. We are about halfway done! At this point, there are two steps left:
-Optional information (photos/ videos/ etc) – PIN verification to confirm that you are
actually the owner of the listing. So once you click Next, you may or may not
see a screen that looks like this. As you can see there are two different buttons: 1) Claim Listing
2) Add Listing Based on the information you added on the
previous screen, Google searches for a business that matches what you have entered. It is
common that we will surface your business here. If we show you a business that matches,
go ahead and click Claim Listing. Even if the information in what we show you do not
exactly match, you will have the chance to edit it. If what we show you, as a potential match
is totally incorrect, you should Add Listing. This means that the information you provide
to Google is brand new and does not match anything we have already found.
So once you choose whether or not you will be claiming an existing listing OR adding
your business as a new listing to Google, you will be prompted to continue editing optional
information. Next up is a really exciting new feature: Service areas!
To determine if your business is a service area business, as, yourself:
Do all customers come to me? Or do I ever travel to customers? If there is ever a time when you travel or
deliver items to a customer then you should specify this through Service Areas and Location
Settings. The reason for these settings is so that customers can find out whether or
not you will travel to their locations. So when you click: Yes, the default settings
will enable a service area of 20 miles from whatever city center you want to enter. If
you are not sure about how far away Sacramento is, play around with the mileage and hit:
update Preview to see what is accurate. If you serve only specific neighborhoods or
specific cities, you can also specify these by entering a variety of location information
such as postal code, city/ state, or even a neighborhood. Lets check out the next slide
to see how that works! So here you can see I have entered SF Bay
Area and also San Jose. Essentially I will travel as far north as what looks like Rohnert
Park in the North Bay and as far south as San Jose and then everything in between. Each
time you enter a new area, the polygon will update on the map.
Okay, so below the option to enable service areas is a check box that says: Do not show
my business address on my Maps listing. Hiding your business address is perfect for
home-based businesses or businesses that are strictly mobile. When you update this setting,
your marker will appear as a circle on maps and users ca not see its precise location. END: At this point, we have already covered
how to add information to a lot of required fields. Now lets walk through some of additional
attributes you can specify for your business listing!
Here is a screenshot of some of the additional details you can add to your listing.
First we have Hours of Operation. This is pretty self-explanatory. But think of how
incredibly useful this is to users. Remember my slide with the Nail Salon? I wanted to
know the opening and closing hours of the nail salon before I attempted to go there.
If I can confirm online that one place is open and I am unsure about the other, I am
going to go to the nail salon, which told me it is open at that time. The cool thing with hours of operation is
that you can split up your hours in the day: If you are a restaurant specify what your
lunch and dinner hours are. Or if you are a traditional boutique and you
close for lunch, you can specify this as well. The bottom line is that customers will appreciate
you giving this information. The next field you can edit is the Payment
Options field. This field is also very self-explanatory. Lets keep walking through this. Next up is the option to add photos and videos
to your listing. Each of these colorful additions to your place page is a great way to showcase
whatever you want about your business. For a lot of businesses, showing the finished
product or the interior of a business is really important. Specifically for my family business,
which does powder coating on metal, people only care about the quality of the finished
product so I chose to add images of some of the work that the business did. Let me walk you through some of the specifics
for adding photos. You can add up to 10 photos through your account. You can either upload them from your computer
or provide the URL of the image. If you have a website with photos, just grab the URL of
those photos from your site which is what I did.
Lets move down to Videos. Videos are also a great way to spruce up your
listing. Adding videos to your listing takes a few
steps outside of the local business center account UNLESS you already uploaded your video
to youtube. If your videos are already on Youtube, simply paste the URL. If you have not uploaded your videos to Youtube,
You will have to go to Youtube.com, create a Youtube account, then upload your video
to Youtube. Once it is uploaded, You will be able to copy the URL and paste it back
in your Local Business Center account. You can add up to 5 videos. Okay we will continue down to the next step
of a field named âAdditional Details. Additional Details is a flexible field for
you to highlight whatever else about your business that you feel is relevant. Some suggested
items: -Parking options
– Any special offerings. In this case âI wanted to highlight the types of products
that the service offered by Poly Engineering will cover.
– The date of your establishment – Any esteemed awards or recognition that
your business won If you own a restaurant, this is also the
section to highlight a menu or reservations. In order to do this, you have to label the
first column Menu and then enter the URL of where the menu lives. Do the same for reservations.
Make sure you do not have any typos here! On the place page, the menu and reservations
will appear as discreet links. At this point, we have filled out everything
and it is time to Verify the listing so that it goes live!
As noted on the slide, Verification is required to prove that you are in fact the business
owner. In order for your listing to go live, you
MUST verify the PIN by entering it into your account.
Lets take a look at how to choose your verification option.
In the US, there are two different options for PIN delivery: Phone and Postcard It is possible that you may not have both
options available to you. This just depends on the information you provide for the listing.
It is for your protection. If you are claiming an existing business, you will have to verify
a piece of the information from that original business. In the next few slides, I will talk more about
each verification option. Phone verification, if available is the quickest
way to receive a PIN and activate your listing. Before you choose PIN delivery by phone, here
is some information about the phone call. As soon as you request it, you will receive
a phone call instantly. An automated phone system will read you a
PIN. Not a human. The phone hangs up almost immediately after
delivery of the PIN. Right after this, You will be prompted to enter the PIN in your
Google Places account. Because of the circumstances of phone PIN
delivery if nobody is available to answer the business phone or if the person picking
up your business phone is not ready for the phone call, this will not work.
If you have an automated phone system, a phone tree, or are unavailable to take a call when
prompted to verify, request a PIN via the postcard option.
Each time you request a phone call (or request a mailer), the PIN will change so make sure
you use the last PIN requested. Sometimes, mail may be a better option or
the only option for delivery of your PIN so let me explain a bit about the mail option.
If phone isn?t available or wont work for your business, you can request a postcard
that contains a PIN. Once you request a postcard, You will have
to wait 1-3 weeks, as postcards are sent trough standard mail.
When you request a postcard, you wont have the ability to request another one for 7 full
days (because your postcard is on the way). Also please note that each time you request
a new postcard or request a phone call, the PIN will change so it?s best to just be patient
with. So once I?ve received my PIN by mail or through
the phone call, I will be able to enter it on the next slide.
Enter your PIN here and voila! Your listing appears on Google! WAIT! but there?s more you can do to enhance
your listing. Coupons are a great way to attract more users
to your business. By clicking the Coupons tab in your Google Places, you easily create
fully customizable coupons with expiration dates, limits. You can add images and even
enable the coupon to show on the mobile network. It?s a great way to attract new customers
and satiate the ones you already have! So now that you?ve taken advantage of almost
everything you can possibly edit! It?s time to review how your account looks! If you change your opening hours or if you
remodel the interior, update your hours and add new pictures. This kind of engagement
and updating is definitely encouraged although I want to make sure it?s clear that you don?t
need to make changes unnecessarily. Since we?ve talked about editing so much,
here?s how you get back to edit your listing Edit lets you Update the photos and videos,
add a note about the local recognition award you just won, etc Also, if you already created and verified
your business before we launched Service Area functionality, you can get to Service Areas
by clicking Edit. The delete button should only be used if you
close down your business. On the next few slides, I will cover what
some of the other terms and links in your account will do.
Active means your listing is showing on Maps. There are several other status you may see
in place of Active. For more information about these statuses, we have a glossary in our
help center which will include more information. In the Active column, you can see any information
about Coupons and how many are active for each listing in particular. So here, you can
see I did create a coupon at one time for Brianna?s Ice Cream Pies but it?s not currently
active. I must have either paused it or set it to expire before today.
Here is the link to view your listing?s Place Page. By clicking See your listing on Google
Maps, you can see how all of your information appears on the Place Page exactly as users
see it. In a few slides, I will give you an overview of your listing?s Place Page. If You are curious about your listing?s performance
on Google, You will see a quick snapshot in the next slide.
So Impressions is how many times users see your listing.
Actions is how many times people clicked on your listing. This is a tiny glimpse of information that?s
potentially available. The two links circled in red each direct you
to view your listing?s dashboard report. You can also click on the title of your business
to view your report. The report is a custom view of the following:
-How many people have viewed your listing — What actions people took (i.e. did they
get driving directions, did they click on your website, things like that)
-And then for driving directions, where users come from when they obtain driving directions
to your business. This data is incredibly useful to gauge how
your listing is performing on Google and of course, this is entirely free and accessible
to all PIN verified businesses. This is a sample of the dashboard, which every
PIN verified listing will have. From this page you gain valuable insight into:
-How many times your listing appears on Google – How many clicked on your listing and what
they specifically clicked on – What are the top search queries people used
when they found your listing on Google. If people request driving directions to your
business, You will see an interactive map displaying what zip codes people originate
from when requesting driving direction. Lets take a closer look. Here?s a better look at the activity of my
listing. I changed my date rate to show what kind of activity my listing saw since January
first 2010. It?s interesting to see the activity peaking in what looks like March. As a business
owner, I can always try to correlate any activity online with any other marketing activities
I may have done during that time period. I can also see drilled down information about
what kind of actions users took: -It looks like the most common action was
Clicks to my website with the second most common action being users who clicked for
more information on my listing. Zero users clicked for driving directions, but that makes
sense due to the business type. Also in your dashboard, is an interactive
map to let you visualize the top 10 zip codes of customers who obtain driving directions
to your business? This type of information is really valuable and we?ve heard stores
from businesses who have even opened a sister store in another region of the San Francisco
Bay Area due to the high volume of customers from the East bay. OKAY, so that covers the basic intro level
to your Google Places. Once you?ve done everything you can through editing and PIN verifying,
your listing should appear correctly on Maps. And voila success PIN verifying your listing! A lot of you may be part of large organizations
where PIN verifying listings isn?t scalable because there are so many locations. So I
want to mention a few things about the alternative to PIN verifying your listing
Does your company have more than ten listings? If you do have at least ten listings, you
can create a bulk upload to add your business locations. When you log on to Google.com/places, choose
upload a data file. Follow the instructions here to create a bulk
upload. A couple of things to keep in mind with bulk
uploads that differ from adding a listing one by one.
-Service Areas and coupons are not enabled — You wont have access to dashboard stats
unless you are a verified feed, which I will explain on the next slide Once you submit your bulk upload, you don?t
need to PIN verify anything â remember this is the scalable solution for adding your business
listings to Google. But regular bulk uploads aren?t guaranteed
to show up correctly or even at all on Google. Because business owners with more than 10
locations should be able to have a verified, status, we offer bulk upload verification The method for verification of a bulk upload
is to submit a contact form for our team to review.
Before submitting this form, you have to meet the following requirements:
– First and foremost: you MUST be the business owner.
– Have a Google Places account with a bulk upload already added
* Accurate and up-to-date data: * Full compliance with our Google Places Quality
Guidelines: in other words, don?t spam and represent your business online exactly as
it is offline * All businesses have only been submitted
by a single user: We will check to see if there are other Google Places accounts that
are submitting data for the same locations. Remember there should only be one business
owner Once you submit this form, you should hear
back in about a week. Once we confirm that we have verified your account â you can expect
your verification to go into effect in about 2 weeks. Once you are verified, you will notice
the following: -An owner-verified listing stamp on your listings
– Dashboard statistics available for all listings! So now at this point, we?ve successfully uploaded
our file and requested bulk upload! If there are folks here who would like more detailed
information about bulk uploads, please fill out our survey to express this interest so
that we can schedule another webinar on this topic.
Lets get started with a brief overview of your listing?s place page. Keep in mind that
this overview of Place Page is applicable to all listings, not just yours. Your listing?s
Place Page wont look any different to you, as the business owner. First off, lets talk about the owner-verified
listing label and I will also mention some of the other labels you may see here. Owner-Verified Listing
This badge appears for listings that have been verified by the business owner. These
listings have been updated and improved by their business owners, so that the information
about a business is as accurate as possible. Edit this place
If you see incorrect information appearing in the place name, phone number, homepage,
category, address, or marker location, you can edit this information directly in Maps.
Simply click Edit this place at the top
of the Place Page to edit the business listing, make the appropriate changes and click Publish.
Voila! You’ve made an edit. If you don?t see Edit this place at the top
of the Place Page, this means that it has been verified by the business owner (and nobody
except the business owner can edit it) or You are not able to make edits in your country
just yet. Don?t worry, We are working hard to make this available in all countries! Business Owner?
This link appears for listings that haven?t been verified in Google Places by the business
owner. If You are the business owner of a listing, simply click on the Business Owner?
Link to verify your business listing. You will go through all the steps we?ve just gone
through. Once you’ve verified your listing, you can enhance the Place Page for your business
by adding photos, videos, coupons, and even real-time updates like weekly specials all
on your Place Page. General information and details Here you can find out all the basic information
about a business, from the address and phone number, to how to get there by public transportation
If You are a business owner, you can update and edit this information in your Google Places
account. Place Page Posts One fun feature that you find here is the
ability for business owners to post to the Place Page. Place Page posts allow business
owners to give Google Maps users recent updates about your their business. These concise posts
are a great way to share information with customers quickly. Learn more about Place
Page posts and how to update them here. Photos and videos Photos and videos on the Place Page can come
from different sources across the web. Business owners who have verified their businesses
in their Google Places account can upload photos and videos to share with users. Other
photos may appear from various sources (you can click on the photo thumbnail to visit
its source). Business owners can upload up to 10 photos and 5 videos for each business
listing. Reviews Reviews come from two main sources: third-party
reviews from various sources around the web, and reviews written by Google Maps users.
When the information on a third-party website (like Yahoo or Trip Advisor) matches the information
for a particular listing, Google associates third-party reviews with business listings.
The green URL next to each review indicates its source. If the source is maps.google.com,
then it’s a review written on Google Maps. Reviewing a business is easy. First, be sure
you are signed into your Google account. From there, click Write a Review on the Place Page.
Once you’ve rated and reviewed the business, simply click the Save button. Ranking in Google Maps is completely automated;
we can’t manually change the order of individual reviews, even if you request it. Since we don?t have a whole lot of time, I
want to share a great resource with you all. I want to share this link with you all: it?s
an interactive Guide to your Place Page. It?s a great resource to take a deep dive into
every single aspect of your Place Page. On Maps, sometimes there are other old verified
listings whose information may also appear in your listing. If the information in your
account appears correct but there is wrong information on Maps, you should Report a Problem.
This functionality lets you escalate a problem with a listing to Google to let us know about
the issue. To get to Report a problem, you will look
for the More link. When you click More, You will see Send and Report a Problem. Click Report a problem. You will be prompted
to choose what is actually wrong. I will turn it over to Kyle now! Thanks again
everybody.

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