3 Tips on How to Optimize Google Places

Local results are fast becoming a major part of Google’s search results. With so many people searching for local businesses and services, it only makes sense for Google Places to gain more space in the SERPs. Creating a listing is easy, but optimizing that listing is a different story. Here are three simple tips on how to optimize Google Places.

1.Your Listing Should be Complete and Accurate

When you first create your Google Places page, you’ll be presented with several fields. Some of them are obviously necessary, but others may not seem quite as important. Nevertheless, it’s still important to fill out both the required and the optional fields. Google is looking to give their visitors the best possible experience, so the more information you can present to the visitor the better.

Among the optional fields are:

  1. Website address - Google will use information from your official business website to help improve their search results.
  2. Email
  3. Categories – Choose a category that best fits your business. While you may be tempted to choose a broad category, Google suggests selecting a more specific category to improve search results.
  4. Description

It’s also important to make sure that you provide your company’s opening hours as well as an accurate address and phone number for your business. Google also suggests including what types of payment you accept.

The bottom line here is that going above and beyond the minimum requirements will help improve your rankings. Fill out all of the fields, and be as specific as possible. Add multiple photos and videos too to help your business stand out.

As a side note, you want to make sure that the information you provide is the same across all of your citations. This establishes trust with your Places page.

2.Include the Right Keywords in Your Listing

Including the right keywords in your listing is also important. However, just like with traditional SEO, you need to be careful not to go overboard and start looking like a spammer.

Keyword stuffing – even on your Google Places page – will only make it harder for Google to trust your business. It may even cause Google to remove your Places page altogether. To avoid this penalty, word your description carefully using your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3.Encourage Reviews

One of the best ways to optimize and rank your Places page is to gain more reviews of your service. It only makes sense for Google to give priority to businesses with excellent reviews than those with negative or no reviews at all.

The problem is that good reviews can be hard to come by. Generally, people only feel compelled to leave a review if they have been mistreated by the company or had a bad experience with their products. You cannot incentivize reviews, but you can encourage your customers or clients to leave reviews in a number of ways.

  1. Ask customers and clients to leave a review on your Places page through Facebook or your newsletter.
  2. Place a call to action on your website asking customers to leave reviews.
  3. Ask for reviews when you send out follow up emails or post cards to clients.

For this to be effective, you need to make it as easy as possible for customers or clients to leave reviews. Provide your customers with a direct link to your page as well as instructions on how to leave a review.

Remember, reviews are of the utmost importance, so focus much of your effort on getting more customers to leave positive reviews.

Google Places Optimization with 51Blocks

If you have any questions about the optimization process for your Google Places account and your local listing, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information!

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