Dry Cleaners: Google Places Update

Sat, Sep 25, 2010

Dry Cleaning Marketing, Internet

Google Places, formally known as Google Local and formally known before that as Google Maps. Google has changed this services’ name 3 times in the last couple of years.

Google Places is the most effective Internet advertising medium you can use and it’s FREE!  You can pay for parts of it, but essentially it’s free. Kris Anderson, one of my members get’s an average of 5 route customers a week from Google Places and says “It’s the most important investment of time he’s made marketing his route business.” Did you hear that–investment of time?

75% of people use Google to search, so you better get listed there. You can get signed up for FREE at google.com/places

You probably already have an account with Google Places, but did you know that you can have 5, 10, 20 or more listings with them? Kris Anderson blanket’s his city of Sydney, Australia with 36 listings.

Did you know that it is now possible to get an account with them that is NOT area sensitive? What does that mean? It means that your dry cleaning delivery business is a service that your customers don’t have to come to you, you come to them. And because of that, you can designate an area that you service.

I’d like to share with you first, how to list your account with Google Places so that you have the best chances to be in the top 3 in your town:

Your Name – Listing your name the proper way is very important. The top keyword term that your prospective customers are going to search when looking for a dry cleaner is “dry cleaners [your town] [your state]”. So with that in mind, the name of your dry cleaners should have that in your name. The name I use is “Colosi’s Cleaners – Pittsford Dry Cleaners.”  By doing this, I’ve put my top keyword in my name, which is paramount.  This is how I’m listed in another town that I service: Colosi’s Cleaners – Fairport Dry Cleaners.

Keywords – a keyword is a word or word-phrase that someone types into a search engine to find what they are looking for. The top three keywords that your prospective route customers type in are (in order): dry cleaners, dry cleaning and dry cleaner. You will have room to give Google Places 5 keywords, so you’ll want to start with those three and add: cleaner and cleaners.  With those 5 keywords, you’ll have the best chance of getting your listing to the top of Google Places.

Picture – This is very important. Get a picture of you in front of your van so that your prospective customers know whom they are going to be doing business with. Smile in the picture (and smile better than I do) and wear a uniform.

Make An Offer – Don’t just list on Google Places for the purpose of listing. You’ve got to have a reason for your prospective route customers to call you and giving them something is the reason they are going to call you and not one of your competitors. My offer is $10 in FREE dry cleaning just to try my service out with no strings attached. An amount of only $10 will keep the mooches away and give your serious prospective route customers a chance to try you out and see how you perform.

Tags – Google Places just started offering Google Tags a short while ago. I bought a tag for $25 a month and haven’t seen anything happen with my rankings. It has not brought in any new business for me. I guess the jury is still out with Google Tags. So I’d wait on this one.

Go check my dry cleaning business out. Go to Google and type in “dry cleaners pittsford ny” and see what happens. I’ll tell you what happens, you’ll see that I’m listed as #2 and #3 in Google Places.  And what else will you see? You’ll see that I’m #1 and #2 in the organic free listings too!  And you’ll also see me off to the right as #2 in the pay-per-click (PPC).

How do I get the top two listings in the organic and #2 in PPC? That’s another two articles. Look for them in the very near future.

Special Note: You gotta get with this technology stuff. It’s not going away. If you’re not good at it or don’t want to deal with it, you MUST find someone that can do it for you. Hire a teenager or put an ad on CraigsList.org and hire a college student for $10 an hour. Get this done. And once you do it, as Kris Anderson says, “it’s done forever and the route customers keep coming in.”  Get a bunch of listings on Google Places this week!

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