What is Google places?
It’s a listing on Google that shows local listings based on your particular geographic location. It’s a very powerful marketing tool especially for those suburban based local businesses looking to attract the local market. So for example, if I am looking for a locksmith in Paddington, Sydney, Google places will deliver a set of results of locksmiths that are located in the Paddington area or very close by. If there are no locksmiths in the Paddington area( highly unlikely) then the results will expand out to a larger geographic area, say Bondi.
Ideally you want to use a local service or product providor and Google places certainly delivers on this.
What are the benefits of Google places?
- it’s absolutely free and you don’t have to outlay large sums of money to the likes of Yellow Pages anymore to get a listing. As most small businesses know Yellow pages online ads can be a heavy monthly expense which is something you don’t want to keep paying. It’s best to ( if you have a marketing budget) put this into a SEO campaign.
- If your Google places listing has been set up properly it should get to the first page of Google which is where you want your business to be. Don’t make the mistake of stuffing this up and forgetting about it. This won’t correct itself.
- Google places will show a lot of important information for local clients. Name, address, web URL as well as customer reviews. This is a fantastic marketing tool and will bring in heaps of local clients.
- Mobile phone users on the go can get access to your listing and get to your shop, office, warehouse or factory really quickly with a prominent places listing.
- Google have given you the opportunity to have another organic listing so make the most of it. You don’t want your competitors to be there without you. Remember the 1 in 4 searches are local based.
Tips for getting your website higher on Google places.
If you want a better Google places ranking, do this now:
Have you set your business profile on Google Places- all you need to do is create a Google account, which is super easy to do. Once you have this all you need to do is login to Google places and they will guide you through the rest. They will send you a verification code ( via mail or phone) and once received, put it in and voila….you have a Google places listing.
Make sure you start your citations- For those of us that have no clue about a citation, it’s a mention or referral from another website to your website. Call it a back link if you will. This should be done on other free directory websites like: Yahoo, Hot Frog and reach local. Make sure the information you provide these directory sites is exactly the same as the ones you provided for places. They will need to verify this so the whole process can take a few weeks. Again, be really selective with the number of directories you submit to. Do not for 1 minute think that registering 1000 times on different directories will help. It’s just a spam and can work against you. We come across many business that fall foul of Google due to this type of SEO technique. What ever you do never ever go with a SEO company that relies only on this method for your SEO or local Google places listing – it’s a recipe for real trouble.
Keep link building local – If you can have your website listed on other local websites this will help with your listing. Local blogs are a good start. Perhaps even local government websites that offer space for advertisers are a great way to improve your local listing profile.
Get reviews- This is a tough one as you need to get as many legitimate reviews as possible and they all should be positive. Google will start pushing your local listing if there are reviews posted, so whatever you do make certain that you can get at least 5 to 10 reviews from different people from different IP addresses ( this is more natural). Fake reviews ( as is so common a practice can be spotted a mile away) – keep it real, honest and updated and Google will reward you. Don’t think that 500 all 5 star reviews will not get picked up as somewhat fake. I have seen this, it does happen and it’s not going to help your business.
There are companies out there who seriously depend on their listing on Google. If you are one of these an cannot seem to make it work for you, please speak with us and we will not only get your places listing right but also look at your entire organic Google rankings. These are the things that are going to have a significant impact on your sales leads and organic web traffic, so if you have seen a drop in online inquiries do something about it today.