Google Places for Local Companies

A relatively new service that Google recently started offering is Google Places. While, it is of course the goal of this website to encourage visitors to use Agilis Marketing’s services, it would seems inappropriate for any SEM company not to make its clients aware of this new service. It is ideal for many local companies and depending upon the business model may in fact replace the need to use a SEM company.

Honesty and credibility are important for any company thus one reason Agilis is making this information available. Local store owners in smaller towns such with lower priced products or services such as barber shops, bike rental, or hardware stores are likely better off utilizing solely this service rather than paying for an SEM company to assist with their marketing. That said, local companies that offer higher priced products, or are in larger towns likely will still receive an advantage from hiring a SEM company.

Now with all those caveats most might now wonder what exactly Google Places provides. Simply put it provides an inexpensive ($25 per month) way to quickly add your business to the map results that are often displayed on local searches. While, this service is not needed to appear in the local listings, and does not guarantee and type of high placement, it does offer some unique advantages. Results are almost instantaneous, which is a crucial factor for new companies and websites as to not lose out on opportunity cost. Site owners can also clearly let Google know their exact location, which Google usually figures out anyways, but not always correctly. Another strong advantage is the ability to add tags with coupons or live updates concerning a sales or whatever else is appropriate.

The clear upside are the low cost, clear benefits, and fast placement. However, there are a few downsides worth mentioning. One, which is especially important for larger cities such as Boston, is that lack of control over where within the results a site is placed. This is something that likely will require the assistance of a SEO company. Another factor is the hidden cost. While $25 is unlikely to break any company’s bank account, over the course of a decade that adds up to $3,000. Whereas an SEM company could possibly provide a similar offering for a one time upfront fee of roughly $500 with results that are likely to last the same timeframe.

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