If you are a local business owner, Realtor, or broker, chances are that you’ve already discovered the power of Google Place listings. If NOT, then you should read the rest of this article carefully. Understanding how Google Places listings work and applying it will give you an excellent opportunity to land on the first page of local Google search results. As a result, it will drive lots of traffic to your business or service. What’s more is that it is completely FREE, you do not need to pay a single dime for it.
What is Google Place?
In case you still have no idea what Google Places is, we are talking about the listings that usually appear above the organic search result listings. It is accompanied with a map of the exact location of the listed business or institution.
Because many start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners aren’t caught up with the idea of Google Places, it means that the competition is still relatively low and so it is fairly easy to rank at the top.
But for starters we probably need to begin by understanding exactly what Google Places is. This is a free business listing service from Google itself. To get started, go to http://www.google.com/places/
What you will be doing next is creating a detailed profile of your business that will list your telephone number, physical address and other vital information that a typical business listing would have. But even more important is the feature that enables you to mark the exact location of your business on the Google Maps service.
The result will be that whenever somebody does a local search using the keywords you specify when filling in the online form, your business will not only appear on the very first page of Google results but right at the top before the organic results. In addition a map automatically appear such that prospects can use it to locate your business.
As of today, only the top 7 local businesses with a Google Places listing will show up on the first page. As a business owner, your job is to be one of the top 7. Number 1 would be ideal.
However, to ensure that you are positioned in the top 7 there are a few things you will need to do. It is really important to come to terms with the fact that even if there is no competition when you start appearing on the listings, it won’t take long before your competitors wake up to the fact that you have an edge over them. And you can be sure that they will try find out how to get listed and appear right next to you pretty quickly.
So you really need to pay attention to all the Google Places optimization tactics to ensure that your listing always appears above those of your competitors. Here are a few tips you should use when getting started.
There is an option for customer reviews in the local Google places listings. You need to know that the more positive reviews that you have the higher your listing will rank. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to push this. Why not simply email your clients and ask them to leave a review? You can then set up a system using an auto responder so that all new customers receive the same email request asking them to leave a review at your Google places listing. Another good tip is to ask for their reviews in person, and provide some incentive for doing so. Good reviews go a long way, so don’t be afraid to do a little work for the first few. Don’t worry too much if some of the reviews are negative, just make sure you work on the weaknesses pointed out so as to eliminate them as quickly as possible.
Other Business Listings
You also need to be careful about all the other places online where your contact information can be found. Google search robots will sometimes verify telephone numbers addresses and all other information about you and your company from other directories and websites and compare them with what you have on Google listings. Ensure that they are all the same and consistent otherwise it will work against you in the end.
Something else to be very careful about when creating your Google places listing are the keywords you use. You will need to do some research to find out the most popular keywords used by your potential clients/customers, and then focus on those particular keywords in your descriptions and titles. If you fail to include targeted keywords, you won’t get much traffic. Always consult keyword tools like https://adwords.google.com to find out what your customers are searching!
It is well worth the effort taking your time to optimize your Google Places listing. Do so and you can drive plenty of customers to free listing.
Feel free to contact me for a free chat/consultation if you want to know more about getting started or optimizing your listings.