Landing on top of Google’s search results pages is a constant challenge even for SEO experts because of modifications in the way the Internet’s top search engine views and ranks content. Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to get organic listings, but to rank in Google Places as well. Adding your listing to Google Places for local business SEO is not an option but a necessity if you want people to find your business on the Internet.
About Google Places
Originally known as ‘Google Local’ business listing, Google Places enables local search results to appear above organic lists when an Internet user looks for anything with a specific location such as “dentist in Toronto”. The results show alongside a map with a red dot indicating your business location. This allows your target audience to find your online address, and, perhaps even more importantly for a bricks and mortar establishment, your business address.
What you need to know…
Having a verified listing by adding or claiming one is your first step. Setting up your account takes only a few minutes but you need to provide as much information about your business as you can. Gather all the data you need beforehand to speed the listing process. Verification can be made by phone, SMS or standard mail, so providing accurate contact information including your businesses physical location is essential. Post Office box addresses won’t work with Google Places.
Like any other SEO technique, implementing your Google Places for local business SEO strategy involves a number of factors.
Detailed information: Google’s indexing system relies heavily on data you supply when you apply for a listing in Google Places. We recommend that you fill out all possible fields to improve your search rankings.
Data consistency: Google bots that crawl the web can gain information about your business from other websites and compare these with the data you supplied in Google Places. Having the same business information in other websites boosts search rankings. Maintain consistency elsewhere on the Web such as in domain name registrations, directory listings, and sign up forms.
Business reviews: Getting as much information, particularly reviews, about your business is important for Google. Client or customer reviews found in other websites can be detected by its web crawlers and may appear as snippets in your Google Places listing. This provides your viewers a glimpse of the feedback that your business has received. Data consistency in business reviews contributes as well to your search rankings.
Latest statistics estimate no less than 21 million small businesses with local operations worldwide, making it increasingly difficult for anyone without a Google Places local business SEO strategy to be found on the Internet. Understanding how Google Places listing works is integral to better search rankings, and form part of the suite of services provided by Melbourne SEO Services.
Because the best SEO strategies evolve over time, early action can really put you ahead of your competition – so it makes sense to enquire now about how we can help to boost your rankings.
I guess optimizing for Google Places is fast becoming a necessity. I’ve started to notice that in some search results, especially if you are looking for a service within your city, at the top of the usual site listings in the results we can now see listings for Google Places.
If you’re doing SEO, this is a whole new challenge. Because if you have finally reached the top of the search results, all of a sudden you see your site being listed way below because of these business listings.