5 Essential Tips to Optimize Your Google Places Listing
For most small businesses local relevancy is key to becoming successful and carving out a niche in their respective area. In online search Google is gatekeeper between those potential local clients and the companies that fit their needs.
Google Places has become one of, if not the, most important search engine optimization factor for business that cater primarily to local clientele. Doing a search for a localized query for something like “Mexican restaurant” you will see the Google Places “7 pack” search results. These are the 7 Google Places pages results that are woven into the search. Sometimes they are on the top of the results and sometimes they are few results down. Nonetheless, they are on the first page and consumers are using these results to make every day purchasing decisions.
With being in the top 7 local results being increasingly important due to Google’s movement to more localized and personalized search results you have to make sure that your local page is fully optimized. Customers are using Google more and more to make quick purchasing decisions for everything from where to eat to where to shop. Below are a few tips to follow to make sure you are getting the most out of your page:
Fill out all the information
This may seem obvious but you would be surprised as to how many companies do not spend the needed time to completely fill out there company profiles. This includes all relevant categories, active address and phone number. The more information your provide the more criteria Google will be able to index for possible searches.
Include Pictures & Video
If you have them, post them! You can add up to 10 photos and a video to your places page. These pictures could be the deciding factor for potential customers especially if you are in a highly visual industry like food or design.
To maximize the opportunities make sure your pictures are high quality and a related to potential searches. If you are a restaurant you want to be sure to include some of your most popular dishes and if you are design studio including pictures of your most high profile designs would be beneficial.
Use a unique address
Google gives preferential treatment to profiles with unique addresses. If you use a P.O. Box as your company’s main address you will most likely show up further down on the results than companies with addresses that are not shared with other companies. Google also verifies to see if the address provided matches what is on your website.
Use other local listing sites such as Local.com, Manta and Merchant to allow the search engines to have multiple reference of your business online. This acts somewhat as a verification process to make sure your company is who you say it is and is where you say it is.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Reviews are extremely important to your rankings in local search results. Ask customers to fill out Google Places reviews for you on your weekly or monthly newsletters by providing any easy to access link. The review process is quite easy and only takes a few minutes. You can also incentivize review by offering discounts to customers that leave a review while in your store.
The more reviews you have the more credible Google sees your business. Increase your reviews to see better ranking for your Google Places page and local search results.
- How Important are Local Reviews for Local Search? (seohatch.com)
- Google Places: Lots of Hype But What About the Clicks? (marketingpilgrim.com)