If you want to improve your online presence, why not take advantage of two free services from Google; Google Places and Google+?

For small businesses as well as large ones, there are two services that can really help improve your online presence.

1.       Google Places/Google Places for Business/Places for Business

If you haven’t got a Google Places listing already, get one now. Go to http://www.google.co.uk/business/placesforbusiness/ and sign up. If you have a Google account, login with it and get started. There is verification by post or phone. I’ve found that for most businesses the phone verification is quick and easy.

Google Places listings tend to come up when someone searches for a product or service plus a location, like ‘Coffee Shops Nottingham’. This makes it great for local SEO (search engine optimisation). Get it right and you’ll appear on page 1 for Google with other places listings. The bigger chains are doing it but some of the switched on local businesses are too.

Why not set up your Google Places listing today? There’s a chance you can achieve a page 1 listing on Google with Google Places!

2.       Google+

Google+ is here to stay, of that there is no doubt. In fact it is going to become more and more important as Google integrates it into its other products.

Google is encouraging businesses and individuals to sign up and start using Google+. For businesses, this is now a priority. Google is starting to use Google+ information on its main search engine results pages and this is only likely to increase. You can also pull information from Google+ listing into your Adwords adverts if you are using Google Adwords to promote your business. So it makes sense if you haven’t already done so to get your Google+ listing set up.

Firstly, set up a Google+ profile for yourself and then set up a Google+ page for your business. You can find out all about it at https://www.google.com/intl/zh/+/business/

Simply click on the ‘Create a Google+ page’ blue button, top right and follow the instructions.

In our next blog we will look at the two other free tools available from Google that can really help you to understand how well you are performing online. The tools are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

Look out for our next post but in the meantime, why not get your Google Places and Google+ listings up and running?

If you need any help or have a queries when you come to set up your listings, please contact us and call 0115 880 0211.

Please feel free to share and like this post as well as get in touch with me if you have any comments.

By Jackie Key
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Jackie Key is a marketing expert based in Nottingham specialising in Google Adwords, Pay Per Click Advertising and SEO.