Changes to Google Local Business

Google Places LogoGoogle Local Business has now changed its name to Google Places to tie-in better with Google’s Place Pages, Google’s mini-web of pages for all businesses, attractions etc.

It now offers some new features:

  1. Delivery Range – Specify a delivery range or set of postal codes for your service
    Google Places Range
  2. Free Photo Shoot from Google – if you’re in one of the selected cities, you can ask Google to take pictures of your establishment for free
  3. “Tags” – For $25 per month, you can now have a sponsored ad, in the form of a yellow box, in the Google Local Business, er “Places”  results
    Google tags
  4. QR Codes – Only in the US currently, businesses can download a unique QR code that they can add to promotional literature and can be scanned by certain smart phones to take them to the mobile version of Place Pages
  5. Favourite Place Window Stickers– a second round of QR code window stickers will be sent out by Google to the top searched-for businesses

And if you haven’t checked out your local business centre for a while, here’s what’s still there but useful:

  1. Web coupons – customisable coupons for your customers to print out and redeem
  2. Reports – find out where your profile is showing up, where visitors are located, and what search queries are bringing it up
  3. Real Time Events – Post real time events in a Twitter-like feed

If you’re not taking advantage of these free features to advertise your business, and not using the valuable insights to mould your goals to your market, you’re missing out.

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