Ranking highly in Google search results is important, but the new buzz is getting a listing at the top of a locality-based search. Many searches will now bring up local listings and in most cases they are what people see first and foremost. This makes having a listing on Google Places a must for any business with a physical location.
The Google Places listing is integral for those wanting to remain king of the Google castle. But what is a Place listing and how do you get noticed?
A Place within Search
Google Places is a business listing within the Google Maps service; similar to a directory page offering a range of information about the business. The listing shows contact details, reviews, product information, images and video, opening hours and more.
Google believes that 1 out of 5 searches are related to a location, which is why they place a high emphasis on local business listings. And as the leading search engine giant provides results for more than 2 billion searches every day, Google Places is where you need to be.
Place Me Ahead of the Rest
Getting your business on the high A, B, C listing is not as simple as 1, 2, 3. Google’s algorithms are unpredictable and constantly evolving, so to place your business at the top, it’s best to follow the guidelines and watch and wait.
Understand the Rules
Google has the power to change the rules at any time and since you are using their products, it’s best to stay on top of any new updates to their guidelines. You need to follow the latest rules and guidelines because if you don’t, you could get your listing removed unintentionally. Your SEO provider, for example Exa, should keep you informed of all the latest changes.
Know your Business
Google loves data and filling the Places dashboard lets them know you mean business. Providing them with as much information as possible will entice the search engine to pick up your content.
Although a bit of a no-brainer, your physical address is the most important part. PO Box addresses will not work and to rank for a certain city or location, you need to be specific. You’ll also need to provide your email and web address for the best results.
Search engine ranking experts have universally agreed that Business Category is a top Google ranking factor. Placing your business in the right category will also help you pull in other related keywords in the industry.
All listings on the first page have reviews, which implies they are a crucial element. Be warned- if you have the most reviews on your Places page doesn’t mean you will necessarily rank first.
Try to get mentions of your business name and address on other web pages, even if you do not have a link to your website. The better quality the website, the more valuable it will be and the more trust Google will place on your website.
Take pictures and videos of your business and any items that might apply to the definition of your products and/or services. This will help with the overall listing and business definition.