Pastry-Shop

Looking for a pastry shop in Boston? Or how about a late-night sushi cafe in Cambridge? Just whip out Google Maps and it will return a list of related locations with directions, photos, and even reviews of the destination.

With location-based sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Twitter, and others on the rise, Google decided to enter the " location war " with  Google Places , a tool that enables business owners to build a directory page in Google Maps. However, Google has taken it up a notch. People can now  browse local business in Google Street View  and find nearby listings right on the map.

Local Businesses in Google Street View 

In a seemingly virtual reality world, users can "walk" down a street and explore nearby locations. Each location has a company name as well as an icon indicating the type of business. If you hover over a local business name, its information (address, phone number, ratings, etc.) will appear in a pop-out box. These are the same business annotations that were viewable zoomed out, but they are now available as you explore around town.

Google-Street-View

What Should Business Owners Do?

  1. Set up Google Places page. People are already searching for you online, so make sure they are finding the right information. Set up your business listing on  Google Places  and include information such as your address, website, phone number, photos, business hours, etc.

  2. Ramp up your online presence.  Create coupons for customers who find you online or offer special deals to draw people in from Google Street View. If you sell products online, a 15% discount will certainly attract users who are just passing by online. Be sure to offer great customer service to receive good ratings on your business listing.

  3. Analyze your online traffic.  Use Google's data to learn more about your customers' activity, behavior, and trends. Find out who's searching for you and where they are coming from, and accordingly adjust your online strategy. Don't forget to check that your business is in the  right place !

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Originally published Apr 29, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Local SEO