Google Places Question

21 replies
I have seen a number of warriors discussing Google Places service for offline businesses. I am wanting to offer a service that provides optimizing Google Places, Yahoo! and Bing in addition to a long list of other local directory submissions for Yelp, hotfrog, merchantcircle etc. My instinct is to charge $397 for the initial submission and renew for $297 annually. Resubmitting to the local directories and tweeking the Google Places Yahoo! and Bing entries.

I have seen many people charging much more for setting up only Google Places and adding a monthly fee ranging from $97 to $395 or more. What are people doing every month to justify the fee?
#google #places #question
  • Profile picture of the author WarForNom
    Holding firm to the belief that you should always charge the maximum the market will bear?

    I don't know the answer to your question but it spurred a thought in me.

    I'm thinking about how Dogpile.com (is it still around?) submitted my search queries to several SEs all at once, for free.

    I'm thinking of something analogous which would submit my site information to a whole bunch of directories for free (and maybe offer for a fixed cost negotiated discounts for upgrades on 5 or 10 or 50 particular directory sites.)

    It is beyond my skills, but what if someone put up a site which did for free pretty much what 1fisherman is talking about, something which is apparently selling pretty well for big bucks. Seems like a site that wouldn't be too hard to monetize.

    Then again maybe it has been done already but hasn't been promoted well enough to challengs the consultants who are being paid to do this. ANyway, I haven't seen it.

    Thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author shopjohn
      Originally Posted by WarForNom View Post


      I'm thinking of something analogous which would submit my site information to a whole bunch of directories for free
      It's not free, but you can use Universal Business Listing (ubl.org), which will submit a client's business info to more than 400 directories. I think the charge is $30 per submission.
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  • Profile picture of the author iLifestyleClub
    Originally Posted by 1fisherman View Post

    I have seen a number of warriors discussing Google Places service for offline businesses. I am wanting to offer a service that provides optimizing Google Places, Yahoo! and Bing in addition to a long list of other local directory submissions for Yelp, hotfrog, merchantcircle etc. My instinct is to charge $397 for the initial submission and renew for $297 annually. Resubmitting to the local directories and tweeking the Google Places Yahoo! and Bing entries.

    I have seen many people charging much more for setting up only Google Places and adding a monthly fee ranging from $97 to $395 or more. What are people doing every month to justify the fee?
    I am also looking at offering this service to Local businesses in my area. I had similar figures in my mind also. Possibly $297 or so for the initial and then the annual fee would be similar.

    I am interested to see what other warriors think about your question.
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  • Profile picture of the author rockyk
    Bump cuz I was wondering the same thing. How would you justify recurring monthly fees for Google Places?
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    • Profile picture of the author LiquidSeo
      Originally Posted by rockyk View Post

      Bump cuz I was wondering the same thing. How would you justify recurring monthly fees for Google Places?

      A Google Places listing is not the same as it was when GP was introduced in 2009.

      Without a host of factors, including SEO, local citations, ongoing reviews, etc. -- the site will not maintain a page 1 GP position. Caveat -- if you are in a super small town, 1-2 months of work may be all that is needed.

      I offer a "Local SEO Package" that includes GP and SEO.

      This has an upfront and monthly fee contingent. I've allowed clients to pay just the monthly fee, and almost every time they came back and hired us to do monthly work.

      The value is in bringing new customers and leads on a regular basis - and monthly work is critical to this.

      Brian
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      • Profile picture of the author localdominator
        Originally Posted by LiquidSeo View Post

        A Google Places listing is not the same as it was when GP was introduced in 2009.

        Without a host of factors, including SEO, local citations, ongoing reviews, etc. -- the site will not maintain a page 1 GP position. Caveat -- if you are in a super small town, 1-2 months of work may be all that is needed.

        The value is in bringing new customers and leads on a regular basis - and monthly work is critical to this.

        Brian
        Well said, what Places use to be and what it is now/evolving into requires a great deal of monthly ongoing work if you want to keep customers happy and on the front page.

        Ultimately if you are delivering what you promised to the client, then they will continue to pay you. It is how you go about pitching them as much as how you price them. While we typically charge much less than others, (and props to all that charge more btw), we try to make it so customers will be long-term. We continually develop new services that we roll into what we offer that continues to add value beyond just the GP listing and this helps us retain business.

        Best of luck
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        • Profile picture of the author Brent Reader
          I like the idea of paring the monthly service fee with the quantitative value of new customers. Seems like some clients could get fussy if they every meet and happen to mention your services, though.

          Plumber Paul: "Oh, I love So-and-so. And what a great deal at $125 a month!"
          Realtor Rick: "Say what?!! Why am I paying $1,125?"

          I guess this would be a better strategy if you're selling to a vertical market?
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          • Profile picture of the author Rob Richards
            Google Places fits in perfectly with the recurring income model.

            Show your client results and they will happily come back for more, month after month.

            Optimzing their GP listing, building back links, building citations, adding reviews - to most of us, this is 2nd nature, but to the Brick and Mortar owner, it's magical - as long as we get the results.

            No results = No recurring.

            But let's be honest about this...this is NOT rocket science. Sure, labor intensive at times, but for most Warriors, very do-able.

            I'm expanding my consulting biz into GP as fast as I can, with great results and even happier clients.

            Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author believemarketing
    the idea is to make sure listing stays on page one on the 7 box (high up if possible)....

    in my opinion you guys should charge monthly fee.... you will make more money and be happier in the end.... monthly fee guarantees monthly income..... stability....

    if you feel guilty charging $500 or $1,000, you can always charge lower.... the point is if we are able to bring clients good leads, clients are more than happy to pay for monthly fee... especially clients who make $$$$/sale.

    i know this from experience.... some of my clients pay huge amount for advertising and I know they are not as effective as having local listing on the first page of Google....

    for example a client can pay $3,000/month for advertising on a monthly magazine. At the same time that same client can pay you $500 or $1,000/month for your local listing service that is very highly targeted and effective in bringing more leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    I found that some offline businesses don't quite understand THE IMPORTANCE of Google Places, so sometimes I'll offer to do their listing for FREE and give em a couple of weeks of it...then follow up and show them a snap-shot of their results (back page of Google Pages listing)... they usually get it then.

    The monthly rate I charge usually depends on what ONE customer is WORTH to them (how much he average customer/client spends on their service or product) Anywhere from $49/mth - $199/mth.

    The other thing is gaining easy access to them. I use both postcards combined with phone calls. I found the owners of florist shops and massage therapists readily accessible by phone, as they are sole-owner run. (That's key as well)

    JIM
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  • Profile picture of the author K.Callwood
    I justify my prices by using sites like Groupon (based in Chicago, but worldwide) and Groupalia (not available in the states) to sell an insane amount of their product or service for upfront cash. This puts money in their pocket the first and second month (I do one the first month then the next one in the second month) and it is usually at least twice what I am charging them.

    That way they see an insane ROI for their marketing budget regardless of what their places page and social marketing add-ons are doing. I include a 60-day money back guarantee at signing and I only book 6 month or yearly packages. They don't even think about canceling after those first two successful months and they trust my suggestions from then on.

    I charge based on the profit potential each client has for each new customer my efforts produce. Basically, try to calculate the number of potential new clients for being number one in Places, this is based on the number of total searches for their keyword locally. Take some percentage of that number between 5% and 10% to get a rough estimate of the probable traffic and multiply that by the average price of a sale for their business. Take some percentage of that to determine your monthly.

    For example. I help an Italian restaurant that makes an average of $15 per customer. In their local area the KW phrase "italian restaurant" is searched 4,000 times per month. We know that when someone types in that phrase they are planning on spending money on Italian food so we say a #1 listing will get 10% of those clicks which is 400 per month. I think that I should get 20% of the revenue my efforts are generating directly (plus I manage their social structure and send coupons so this is not even expensive for what it is). The math for my monthly is:

    (4,000 searches * 10% = 400 visitors) so (400 visitors * $15 = $6,000 per month in increased revenue) I want 20% of that for my services so ($6,000 * 20% = $1,200 monthly fee).

    You have to show them the marketing ROI and include enough services to convince them this is a good deal and that depends on your salesmanship. Don't be afraid to find commission based salespeople. They can get $1,200/month for you and be happy taking 30% which gives you $840 per month. which is way more than you were asking without even having to make the sale yourself.

    Don't forget that it is much easier to position yourself as a premium service and offer discounts for early action or long term contracts than it is to go cheap and have to find hundreds of clients to make a decent living.

    Less clients willing to pay you more is easier to manage and gives you a chance to offer a much more thorough service in terms of both client relationships and real world results. If you ask most business owners, you will find that customers who pay less seem to complain more in most professions.
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    • Profile picture of the author msuazo1
      That is a great way of explaining how to charge different clients, but as far as groupon goes do you mean that you charge them a fee to run a quick promotion for a month and then use that to up sell them into your SEO monthly service?
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  • Profile picture of the author KristofferIM
    Keep doing SEO for them on a monthly basis and make sure they end up on the first page for their local keyword.
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    There is a free version of almost everything.

    There are free directory submission tools that automate directory submissions (found here btw), ping tools, etc.

    It can be tough to find or use sometimes, so often that is why people can still charge for services.

    As to Google Places, it is pretty easy to set up. It may take skill and knowledge to set up for best results. I don't know that it's worth $200+, but hey if someone will pay it, why not?

    For my internet business selling triathlon stuff I had people come to my house to buy things. Kind of weird, but it didn't stop me from being able to sell to them.

    **Another reason for Google Places is that it is fantastic for people that use mobile devices, especially GPS. I just wish I knew how much difference it made. I'm sure it is a lot though.
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  • Profile picture of the author rafterman
    ROI. Plain and simple. You drive 20 customers their way. 20 new clients to a dentist could be four grand in business. They pay you 1k, that's 300% ROI. Which is pretty good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    Ok Google Places is something new to me ...what is it? ....how do everyday people use it?
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    • Profile picture of the author marketingtrendz
      How is it that a verified listing in GP can rank lower then a listing that has yet to be owner verified
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      • Profile picture of the author rafterman
        Originally Posted by marketingtrendz View Post

        How is it that a verified listing in GP can rank lower then a listing that has yet to be owner verified
        Perhaps other parameters like backlinks or citations override the amount of weight the algorithm gives to the verification of said listing
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    • Profile picture of the author Geoffrey Freedom
      Originally Posted by Doran Peck View Post

      Ok Google Places is something new to me ...what is it? ....how do everyday people use it?
      Basically it's Googles giant business directory that ties into Google Maps and other directories. The listings generally appear when you do a search with geo keywords in it. Examlpe:


      "plumber portland oregon"
      "bars atlanta"
      "dog trainer seattle wa"
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  • Profile picture of the author K.Callwood
    Right on the money Rafterman. That plus reviews, the description and some people also attribute it to the distance from the center of the city (which makes sense as far as relevance when you think about it). Their website might also be optimized for local search terms which makes it more relevant to the algorithm as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blue IXXI
    Great thread so far! I'm curious. Those of you charging a monthly fee to keep GP results on the first page, do you offer a guarantee at all? For example, do you not charge them for a month if their listing slips? And if so, how do you track that. Daily, or on a certain day of them month?

    Thanks!
    James
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