If you’re a ‘local business’, you really, really need to be on Google Places. Part of Google My Business, if people are searching for the product or service you offer in your location, a Google Places listing can push you to the top of the search results, next to a Google local map. Powerful stuff in digital marketing terms – especially when you go on to consider that a huge percentage of online activity is related to ‘local’ content – people looking for things in a particular area, and an even bigger percentage of those ‘local’ searches lead to a follow up phone call or visit. So how do you make the most of this opportunity to get to the top of that search ranking? Here are our 5 top tips to help you optimise your Google Places listing.
- Get a 100% score for your listing
When you register on Google Places (it’s free!) make sure you complete all the listing details you are asked for. Include a full address, phone number and other contact details; opening hours, payment details – as much information as you are asked for.
- Careful use of keywords
As with everything, avoid keyword overload, but using one or two location keywords and those describing your products or services can make a difference. Write for people who will be reading your listing, but have the SEO possibilities at the back of your mind while you do so.
- Use images and video
If you can add video to your listing, do so – it’s a very powerful weapon in the rankings battle. Photos are good too. Both video and photos will help increase your visibility and the ranking of your site.
- Invite reviews
If you can get your customers to review you on your Google Places listing, so much the better – this is an ‘open ended’ field in your listing. Once you are set up on Google Places, customers can review your business and give you a ‘star’ rating of 1-5. If you are competing with other businesses who also have 100% listing scores the one with the most reviews will win.
- Create or Claim listings on other search engines and websites
Having your business listed on other search and listings sites will contribute to improving your listing on Google Places. Being listed elsewhere counts as a ‘citation’ and Google includes ‘citations’ as part of its ever complex algorithm.
Once you’ve got your Google Places listing sorted out you can move on to tackling Google+ Local, which is the social media aspect of Google Places, allowing you to share updates and engage with your followers – but that’s for another post! If you need help setting up and optimising your Google Places listing, why not get in touch? We’ve been helping and supporting local businesses across the UK – and beyond – succeed with their digital marketing strategy since 1997 from our offices in Pembrokeshire, and we’d love to help your business succeed too!