Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Google Places -- a New Opportunity for Your Business

I've been in business long enough to remember when pay-per-click ads on GoTo.com (later Overture, later Yahoo Search Marketing) went for a penny a click back in 1998 ... and brought a ton of profitable traffic to my web site.

It was good to get in on that ground floor.

If you own a retail business or any business with a physical location, there's another ground floor you want to be on.

It's called Google Places.

Watch the video above to learn more.

Short answer: Google Places is a map listing relevant businesses when you do a geographically specific search, like "pet shop Chicago" or "electrician Los Angeles."

Even if you don't take walk-in clients, you need to list your business here. Just tell people that you work by appointment only, or by email and phone.

A listing on Google Places is free. All you need is a Gmail or Google Adwords account.

Here's how to make the best use of Google Places ...

1) Use direct-response ad copy to invite online browsers to visit your store. That means you need to make an offer right there in your Google Places listing. How? You could ...

2) Offer a coupon to get the first sale. Then, after they visit ...

3) Capture their address information, so you can follow up after the first sale. Ask something like: "Would you like to be on our mailing list to receive coupons and specials for customers only?"

4) Deliver an outstanding customer experience on that first sale.

5) Mail and email them after that to get follow-up sales (using the address info you collected in step 3).

Because, the only thing worse than not being found by your prospects is not converting them into clients for life who buy repeatedly and refer others.

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