One of the best things you can do to get traffic on local terms at Google is to get ranked in Google Places. Here we take a look at what you need to do to optimize your Places listing. Where Google Places is used in SERPs: 1) in the standard search results, where 7 Places are shown. Note that most of these are below the fold on competitive terms, where there are 3 ads in the Adwords Block at the top of the results. 2)On Google Maps, where there are 10 results, but only 4 or 5 are above the fold. Keep in mind that there are even less places shown on mobile devices.
Optimizing your listing
If you haven’t already done so, go claim your listing. Make sure your business info is 100% complete. This includes paying careful attention to the following fields:
- Company/Organization Name – add your name and service if it makes sense. If your name is Water Works and your main service is bathroom renovations then you could set this to ‘Water Works Bathroom Renovations’
- Business Categories – You can add up to 5 categories, including custom categories. If you can’t find categories that are specific enough, consider using the closest category you can find then add a custom category that is your niche.
- Add photo’s – You really should add a minimum of 5 photos, 10 is the maximum. Google has a tool that resizes the images for you but if they aren’t square to start with, Google squishes them, and then they often look like crap – not what you want representing your company! Crop the images yourself before uploading.
- Business Description - Put in your product and services here with your location.
Get Reviews Ask customers to review your business on Google. In many cases, Businesses don’t need too many reviews to stick out from there competitors. You can’s force reviews, but you can encourage them To review you on Google+, get the customer to do a search that you appear for on Google Maps, and then on your listing is the link to Write a Review. Off Site Optimization You also need citations, which are 3rd party websites that list your business name, address & phone number (Commonly called NAP) from places that Google follows. These citations need to have your NAP listed correctly, which means you need to update these citations if your business moves! This also means that you should always use the same phone number in your listings. Try to get listed on these sites:
- CitySearch.com (paid)