Google Places: Where to Get Started?

Where to Start with Google Places?So you’ve done a search on Google and included your local town in the search term and Google has returned its results but the first page is dominated by local businesses and a map of your local area indicating where they are located. The normal organic results are right down the bottom of the page, it doesn’t take long for you to realise that to compete locally for your products/services now hinges on your ability to leverage your Google Places result. You search the local results and find you business way down in the rankings. So now you know it’s exists, how do you get it to page one?Claiming your Google Places ListingIn order to claim your Google Places listing you will require a Google account. If you don’t have one then simply sign up for one, it’s free. Once you have your account, go to your Google Places listing and click ‘Business Owner?You should now be greeted with a page that lists 3 options:Edit my business information
Suspend this listing
This isn’t my listingSelect edit ‘my business listing’, then click continueOptimising your Google Places ListingRight, now you can edit your business details, but before you rush in and add everything take a moment to consider some important SEO points.Business Name: if you are lucky enough to have a keyword contained in your business name then use just this, but if you have a fairly generic name then add the location i.e. if your called ‘Tina’s Hairdressers’ then try adding ‘Tina’s Hairdressers Cardiff’ – don’t try to add numerous keywords this will get you banned
Address: use the address that is displayed on your contact page and make sure this includes the town.
Telephone Number: choose one number that will be your web contact number, don’t use any other numbers on the web
Website: use your homepage
Description: this should be keyword rich and match the meta description on your homepage
Categories: keywords should be entered here, not a simple list of your services. Take some time to research which keywords your customers use to search for your products/services and use them here
Photos: if you have them upload then, if you don’t get some, really do. Upload 10 photos; this will make your listing more compete.
Videos: if you have videos on your site or YouTube then get them in your listing too
Reviews: get as many reviews as possible especially if you’re in a niche market, use past and present customers as well as suppliers. Google will also pull in reviews about your business that have been posted on other sites, so if you have other local listings which customers have left positive feedback on then Google should include these for you.
Coupons: a Google places listing should be used as a shop window, come back to it regularly, don’t simply fill it out and then ignore it. You can place exclusive offers on your Google Places page which can help you track the custom you receive as a result of your efforts. Using coupons regularly will help your SEO. Be careful though, a from page listing with a generous coupon offer could see a huge flood of traffic and demand.Once this has been completed click ‘submit’ and you will be taken to the verification screen. Here you will be asked to select your preferred method of verifying you own the listing:By phone
By postcard (2-3 weeks)Choose one and click ‘finish’.

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