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What is “Google Places”
Think of it like the new yellow pages - only internet based – with a mapping feature – that is accessible from computers and handheld phones and tablets.
Why “Google Places”
97% of consumers search for local businesses online and Google is the preeminent search engine. Listing your business on Google Places ensures that customers will find your business online – whether or not you have a website.
How to get your business on “Google Places”
First, you’ll need to sign into Google with your Gmail account. (click here to log in)  If you don’t have one, it’s fast and easy to create a Gmail account (click here).
(Best practice: use a business, not a personal Gmail account)

Second, go to the Google Places website (click here). 
(Google will guide you through the process from hear but if you'd like to read up on the process, following are step-by-step instructions.)
You'll be asked to sign into your Gmail account, then you’ll be prompted to add:

1. Phone Number

* Enter your business phone number then click “Find Business Information”

- If you’re already listed, you’re business name will appear
- If you’re not yet listed, you’ll be prompted to enter Basic Information

2. Basic Information, add:

* Company name

* Physical address

* Website

* You may also add:

- email address if you want customers to contact you via email
- a website address (if you have one)
- a description of your business (200 character maximum)

* Category [type in restaurant, bar, pub, ice cream or other basic business categories and Google will provide you a list of specific categories to choose from. (i.e. Cuban Restaurant or Irish Pub.) You may enter more than one category as it applies to your business type.]

3. Service Areas and Location Settings (yes or no)

4. Hours of Operations (optional but highly recommended for restaurants to list)
5. Payment Options (optional but highly recommended for restaurants to list)
6. Photos (optional but a great opportunity to show off your food, your dining area, and your view – if you have one.)
7. Additional details (optional but a perfect opportunity to suggest reservations, offer take-out options, promote your bar service and anything else that makes your restaurant special)
Click the “Submit” button
8. Validate your listing: Google will ask you to verify your address and will send you a postcard in 2-3 weeks with instructions on how to validate your listing. This is done as a security measure to ensure that the Google Places registration has legitimately been submitted.
As always, if you have questions, the Maine Restaurant Association staff will be happy to assist you.  Call 207.623.2178.
Click on the image below to view a brief video about Google Places and the many things it can do for your business beyond your basic lisitng.


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