There’s no denying the ubiquity of the Internet now and that means it could be affecting your business. I can speak from recent experience, after recently moving to a new town, I was searching online for specific stores and restaurants. Nothing was more annoying than relying on an inaccurate listing on Google Maps saying an open business was closed or a closed business was open.
Google Places also allows you to list your hours, address, and a description. If you’d like to reduce the number of calls you have to answer, I have to imagine making your hours easily available would be a first step to providing your customers with the information they are seeking. In the case that your business isn’t a traditional brick and mortar location and you serve an area, you can draw out your region pretty easily. Though you have to start with a street address, you can choose not to show it on Google Maps once you’ve verified your account by means of a post card to the business address or a phone call.
If you have multiple places, you can add them and manage them all through the simple, standard dashboard interface. After it gets a chance to collect data, it will also tell you the number of impressions and actions for each business.
You can also use the Dashboard to post directly to your Places listing in case you want to provide a quick update or plug an upcoming event.
You can add, edit, or suspend your listing to fit the needs of different businesses (seasonal, etc) so you shouldn’t feel too stuck in the system after signing up.
You can also use Google Places to offer coupons to your customers. At the very least, this might let you gauge how your Places listing is helping your business.
Shortly after you verify your address, you’ll be able to do a search on Google Maps and your business should show up. If you find anything that needs to be changed, just pop back into Google Places, update the entry, and save the changes.
If you manage your own business and want an accurate and easy-to-update listing on Google Maps, you should definitely get your company on Google Places.