Everyone now and then, like a bird pooping on your favorite shirt, something happens and you must adapt to the circumstances. The novel idea of walking under that big tree doesn’t seem so smart anymore, you won’t leave banana peels on the floor if you slip and fall, and you’ll stop ignoring Google Places when you realize how important the platform truly is.

When it comes to online marketing, companies that rely on local customers absolutely must have a Google Places account. I suggest going for the win and signing up for the “Tags” as a way to boost exposure and increase click-throughs. Tags are basically features that provide improved exposure by displaying additional information about one’s business — featured website link, coupon, live update from business owner, etc. They’re an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

Most importantly, if you haven’t already noticed, local (Places) listings now replace where organic listings used to be, and instead of occupying a small map area at the top of the page, they’re much more prevalent. And with prevalence, importance is born.

My suggestion for businesses owners and marketing executives is to create a Google Places account and utilize the Tags. Fortunately, it’s not a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model and Google is currently charging a flat rate of $25 per month with a one month trial period. You might as well give it a shot.

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