May 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Local independent eye care providers are the backbone of consumer focused optical care. Eye care providers (known in the industry as ECPs) provide consumers access to eye care diagnostic screening and prescribe corrective optical contact lenses and glasses. This post discusses how a local ECP may use Google Places to make it easy for desktop and mobile Internet users to connect to their services.
Google Places – the new “Yellow Pages”
According to statistics from Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Even if the actual number were only half of that, being well presented in Google is as important as the yellow page phone directory used to be. Practically speaking, Google has replaced the yellow pages as the directory of choice for consumers.
Get found with Google Places
Google Places for business is a free local marketing platform from Google. When you sign up with Google Places and add information about your business, Google will display rich detailed information on your business when local users enter location specific searches for your services or search specifically for your practice.
Help your business stand out
With Google Places you may add photos, videos, and offers (coupons and promotions!) and even a virtual tour to show customers why they’ll want to choose your practice over your competitors. You may offer first-time and returning customer promotions and post updates anytime.
Use Google Places to actively manage your reputation
Google allows users to leave reviews on any business with a phone number and address. With Google Places you will be able to ‘claim’ your business… your practice… and actively respond to any negative comments and show good faith in resolving issues. Even better, you may encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on Google Places for you. Even a few positive reviews go a long way in helping you stand out above your competitors.
Get usage metrics from Google Places
Free reports in Google Places will help you understand what keywords people interested in your business are searching for and where the users are located. This data may help you make decisions on the scope of your services and possible areas for office expansion.
If you haven’t already, should now claim your eye care practice’s record on Google Places. Even if you have an existing Google Places account, it is important to review and update your profile regularly.
Here is the link to Google Places
Google Places Merchant Center