Not claimed your Google Places listing yet? Tsk, tsk!
It really should be a priority for your online business to be doing the things that will get you noticed and this is one of those things. It’s becoming more important so stop putting it off and get it done!
If you’re not convinced yet then maybe we can persuade you with the following reasons.
1. Universal Search Has Taken Over
You have probably noticed how every week or month something changes with how Google presents its search results.
A major change was a few years back when they introduced their Universal Search system which, instead of just serving text results, started to include news, video, images and local listings.
Then maps were added – based upon businesses and their Google Places listings – and this represented a big shift that had the SEO community wondering what to do next.
Suddenly, with maps being listed, the top result on Google could take up all the space “above the fold” in the results (ie. before you scroll down); all the other organic results are then pushed downwards which, if that includes your site, is not good.
On the flip side, it means not only that you need to aim for number one but, if you achieve that, you can totally dominate the results with maps, video and images as well as the title and text.
2. Improves Your Local Search Visibility
Google has been tailoring its results to consider geographic locations more and more. This means that, if you are searching for a gym and you are based in Melbourne, they will deliver results first and foremost for gyms in Melbourne rather than any other city – as these are most relevant to you , obviously.
Google knows your location from your unique IP address (assigned to all computers on the Internet) and so is able to tailor the results even if you don’t add your city to the search term.
Local search is taken even further with Google Places. For example if you are in the Prahran area and you are searching for a pizza restaurant on your smartphone, then Google will assume that you want a pizza restaurant that is local to you and will list all those that are optimised with Google Places first.
Now – if you are a pizza restaurant in Prahran how important is it to you to be the number one Google local listing and to bring that customer in?
3. It’s So Easy!
For the minimal amount of work you have to put in to claim and optimise your Google Places listing, the benefits for your local search engine optimisation efforts are potentially huge.
All you need to do is check if you already have a listing – sometimes Google lists businesses automatically from their appearance in other directories.
If you don’t have one then claim it and verify that you are the owner by phone or mail. They will send you a PIN that activates the account and makes it visible to the world. Then it’s a question of completing all the contact details and other categories like service areas and opening times and optimising your listing by adding images and video too.
There are plenty more tips on boosting your online business when you’re first starting out in the Competition Crusher workshop. Just click here to learn more.