Google Places – 10 Tips On Optimising Your Google Places Business Listing

Claiming your Google Place Page listing is imperative no matter whether you run an online or offline business.Google Places, formerly known as Google Maps, is a fantastic way of maintaining a presence online particularly if you’re a bricks and mortar business without a website. It can provide potential customers, who are more than likely looking for a local service, with valuable and specific information about your exact location, opening hours, photographs, videos, your services and customer reviews. It also allows you to offer customers extra incentives to use your business in the form of coupons.The process of claiming your Google Places listing is very straightforward. Simply open a Google account and once you have done this and logged-in you need to go to Business Solutions. Under the section ‘Reach New Customers’ you will see a link for Google Places. Clicking on the link will take you to the section where you can claim your business listing.Many businesses have claimed their Google Places listing but have not made full use of it and as a result it will be of little value. Simply entering the business name, address, telephone number and choosing one type of business category is not sufficient.Many local searches on Google will now return a first page of results that includes a Google Map together with a list of up to 7 businesses that Google sees as matching the search query. So, for example, if a potential customer searches for ‘Plumber in Manchester’ Google will return results including a list of 7 local plumbers and a map of Manchester and the surrounding area with markers pinpointing the exact locations of each of the 7 businesses.As a plumber in Manchester you ideally would like to be showing up as one of these 7 business listings. To give you the best chance of doing so you have to make full use of your Google Places listing by entering as much information as possible. If you don’t optimise your listing correctly then you won’t appear in Google Places.Here are 10 tips for optimising a Google Place Page listing:1) Specify your company name (it can be useful to include the geographic area you are aiming for as well – i.e. XYZ Plumbing Ltd | Manchester).
2) List your full business address details including postcode (if you work from home you can opt to keep your address private).
3) Add your main telephone number plus additional fax, mobile numbers if you have them.
4) Key in your website details (tick the box if you don’t have one) and your email address.
5) You now have 200 characters to describe your business. It is very important that you include keywords here in the description that potential customers will use to search for your business type and location.
6) The next section asks you to specify categories that your business falls into. This is one area where many businesses fail when claiming their Google Places listing. There is one category box available initially and you see cases where businesses complete this single category box and then move on whereas there are in fact 5 category boxes that can be completed. You have to list your business in one category that matches Google’s suggestions as you type in details. For example as you begin to type in ‘Plumber’ Google will suggest ‘Plumber’ and ‘Plumber’s Merchant’. You can then click ‘add category’ an additional 4 times and enter your own category keywords based on what people are using to search for your type of business including location i.e. ‘Plumbing Services Manchester’, ‘Heating Engineer Manchester’ etc.
7) Choose whether your business provide services, such as delivery or home repair, to locations in a certain area. Here you can opt to hide your address if preferred and choose to show the area that your business services in terms of distance or by specifying actual areas covered using place names or post codes.
8) Specify your opening hours.
9) List all payment options available to customers.
10) Add business/product images (list as many as you can up to a maximum of 10), video (maximum of 5) and any additional details about your business i.e. parking, guarantees, refund policies etc.As you work through adding information to your listing everything you have completed so far appears on the right hand side of the page together with a percentage. The aim is to complete every section and attain a 100% completion score.Google has the following help pages to assist you as you progress – ‘Creating a great listing’, ‘Tips to help users find your business’ and ‘Business listing quality guidelines’.To further enhance your listing and to give you the maximum chance of appearing in the Map and list of 7 businesses on page 1 of Google for your search terms you can add coupons and obtain reviews. There’s a separate coupon tab that appears on your ‘View Report’ page. Creating online coupons helps to give people an incentive to visit your site or contact your business. Invite customers to leave reviews about your service via their own Google accounts. Obtaining more reviews than your competitors gives you the chance of gaining a much better placed listing.When you have finished completing your listing Google requires you to verify your listing. You can do this by receiving a telephone call, a text message on your mobile phone or via a postcard to your business address. It is far quicker and easier to verify by phone or text. You will be given a PIN number which you simply key in at your Google Places Page.You can view how your listing looks to potential customers by logging into your account and clicking on ‘See your listing on Google Maps.’Google also offers a new ‘View Report’ dashboard which gives you important feedback on the number of impressions (how many times users saw your business listing as a local search result) and actions (how many times users showed interest in your business listing) recorded for your listing. This is very useful information that can be used as part of the search engine optimisation of your listing and website if you have one.If you business is not listed there’s no better time like now. Local business online search is only going to increase in importance and the sooner you grab your position the better. It can attract targeted, free traffic to your business.

When Do You Need A Group Travel Health Insurance?

There are thousand of reasons why we travel? Purpose of travel abroad may be for leisure, business, emergency, sports, and family etc, thus the nature of our travel purpose determines the preparations required in advance. Similarly, a group international travel also demands planning and timely execution of itinerary and that is the reason why it is entirely different from individual travel.Traveling in group of ten and below involve the inclusion of key elements like coordination, an intelligent group international health insurance, trust and financial preparedness as part of the travel plan. So, if you are traveling with an entourage of other people, you may like to consider keeping not your all travel documents ready, but your insurance documents, budget planner, bookings for accommodation on track and impervious to contingencies.In recent times, there are many health insurance providers offering international travelers in group with up-to-date insurance coverage-useful features and services. Thus, if you are looking for some peace of mind during your travel abroad, all you need to do is acquire a travel health insurance that is impregnable to fallacy. To achieve this, you may need to conduct a thorough and intelligence market research on various international health insurance products.Generally, most travel insurance companies provide insurances that extend their coverage to different levels of security. These features are specification created to overcome contingencies through lost baggage, trip cancellation, as well as medical care and transportation costs.These kinds of insurances are cost effective and possess competitive insurance features, plus they are especially designed to protect the insured against any hostile circumstance, unexpected illness, accident, unforeseen situation, injury and so on.As a result, travelers in group ideally should purchase a group insurance because this type of insurance is designed specifically to meet the requirements of people traveling abroad and on the same itinerary. In fact, acquiring a group travel health insurance is the most viable option for international travelers in group because it is economical than purchasing individual insurances.Categorically, there are two main types of group programs, namely- voluntary and mandatory group insurance plans. Voluntary insurance plans are those that do not require each and every traveling member to be included in the plan, whereas mandatory insurance plans are insurance coverage that requires compulsory insurance coverage of every travel companions in the plan.For example, insurance plans like Patriot Group Travel Medical Insurance is an apt group travel plan that offers dedicated and designed group travel insurance for five or more individuals traveling together to a same destination outside of their country of citizenship.To ensure the peace of mind of tens and thousands of international travelers across the globe, various customized group travel plans are also available in the market. That being said, it is equally important to compare features of different group international health insurance products, their prices and their nature of coverage.

Start Your Travel Career in Travel Writing – A Fun Job

Freelance writing includes many genres of writing such as travel writing. This is one travel job that is fun, exciting, educational, romantic, and not uncommon. Many travel writers can be found around the world. Some write for newspapers and magazines. Others capture their travels with a blog or journal. There’s no limit to what a travel writer can do. The world is the pearl in their oyster!Most people think of freelance writing as writing ad copy for advertising agencies or web copy for organizations, but it’s a broad career with many “niches.” Not only do you get to travel, but you can get paid for it! That’s just one of the perks of being part of the “travel writers club.”Starting Your Career in Travel Writing
Travel. This is obvious, but must be mentioned. Travel locally first then see the world. There is always a festival or event happening somewhere in your backyard. Check it out and then write about it.
Create a blog. Many people have blogs today. Sign up for a free blog with or
Write each day. If you intend to make money from your writing, you’ll have a better chance if your writing skills are stronger.
Write articles. Many organizations (online) will ask for content for a new website. If you wrote a couple of articles, consider submitting a few of your articles to “start-up” websites. Caution: do not do this all of the time. A few times is fine, but do not make a habit of it. You’ll gain a reputation for writing for free, which is something you do not want.
Keep a journal. Someday you may want to turn your journal into a best-selling travel memoir. Take excellent notes because if you must research something it will be easier to do with the information in front of you.
Peruse the internet for jobs. Many career boards can be found in cyberspace. Check out for the latest jobs.
Visit websites such as Brave New Traveler, and read the work of other writers. It will give you ideas on what people are interested in reading. It’s also a great way to find your writing style.
Brush up on your writing skills. Travel writing may be fun, but it’s still writing. Travel writers do not receive a free pass to ignore the rules of writing. Sloppy writing will get you nowhere. Proofread your work and have someone else proofread if you must; follow the basic rules of good writing.
If you enjoy variety, travel writing is a career that is abundant with niche markets. You can write on any travel topic from European travel to the best places for hiking. The bonus – there are many ways for you to capitalize on writing, but that’s another blog. For now – travel, write, and watch your new career unfold before your eyes!