Google Local Now Google Places

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Perhaps reacting to our guide last week to using Google Local to promote your tradesman’s business (alright, perhaps not), Google have just announced that they are changing Google Local Business Center to Google Places:

Today the Local Business Center is becoming Google Places. Why? Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world, and we want to better connect Place Pages — the way that businesses are being found today — with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google.

The change offers a little more than just a fresh new name. Google also announced a few new features to the Places service:

  • Delivery Areas: If you deliver services, you can specify which areas you deliver to.
  • Advertise with Tags: $25/month will help your Google Maps listing stand out. This is currently only available in a few US cities.
  • QR Codes: Businesses in the US can download a special code that can be placed on business cards and scanned by certain phones to take customer directly to the Google Places page for that business.

Although these changes are primarily available to US businesses-only at the moment, if Google sees these things taking off, it would usually get shipped to the UK and other areas (we’ll keep you posted). If you haven’t yet set-up a Google Place for your business, check out our 3 steps for tradesmen to win more work with Google Local post to get you started.

Getting ahead of your competitors with Google Places may well be worth the 10 mins or so it takes to get set-up.

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