Deciding What to Add First
Adding your business to Google, or editing and verifying your existing listing, is an exciting step. It's also quite easy, although the verification process, described later in this lesson, does tend to make people a bit nervous. It's hardly ever a problem. (If your business or practices don't fit Google's policies and procedures, as described in Lesson 7, verification might pose a problem.)
The information that you enter for your Google Pages listing is used for not only the listing itself. Google uses the information to suck in other information from around the Web for your Google Places page, and to index your Google Places page for use by Google's search engine and other tools.
Therefore, it's important to get the information that you enter right the first time, and correct every time you update it, to as great an extent as you can. Take care to get the information right as you go along, and don't be afraid to break off the process of adding information if you need to do research or think something over before proceeding.
There are three kinds of fields in your listing:
- Basic business information: This is made up of name, location, contact information, description, and category. You can edit this information even before you claim your page, as described in Lesson 2. Detailed information on these fields is given in this lesson.
Extended information: This is open hours, service area, and payment options, plus photos, videos, and custom fields. I suggest you enter the first few fields in detail now, as described in this lesson. However, you should consider leaving most of your work with photos, videos, and custom fields until later. (Details for these fields are given in later lessons.)
That way, you can let Google go out and find any such information that's already on the Web for you. You can then dedicate your own efforts to complementing and extending—or even correcting—the impression that visitors to your Google Places page get from the additional information that Google finds.
- Marketing information and offers: Coupons, real-time updates, and QR codes make up this kind of information. You can't create these marketing tools until after your site is verified, as described in this lesson. Later lessons in this book tell you how to make these additions.
After you enter the basics, and verify your listing, Google will publish your listing, and also gather any information it can find from around the Web, including photos, possibly videos, and maps.
This is a good time to add your own extended information. When you're sure your listing is solid, you can then add marketing information and offers, as described in later lessons in this book.