When properly optimized, your Google Places listing can get your business noticed, drive traffic, and increase awareness in the local market place. Because Google tries to present relative local search results first, Google Places is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your business rankings. Considering that the listing is free, it’s a no brainer.
Setting up a Google Places listing won’t guarantee droves of new clientele hitting your website or calling your office. Like your website, your Google Places listing needs to be properly optimized to gain maximum results. These quick tips will help in boosting your rankings, and may even land you first page results in competitive markets.
You have 200 characters to describe your business, so make them count. What keywords drive traffic to your site? Use the most relevant keywords in your business description. For example “Atlanta’s first and most trusted exotic pet store” will generate better results than “Exotic pet store featuring a wide variety of hard to find pets.”
Also, do not add keywords to your business name. While it may seem like a good idea, it could actually cause your listing to be rejected or pushed down on the rankings by Google. Only use your legal business name to play it safe.
Whenever possible, avoid creating custom categories to place your page. For example, if you install custom granite countertops, use “Home Improvement” instead of creating a “Granite Countertop Installation” category.
Reviews weigh heavily on your Google Places rankings. Try to avoid having everyone you know add ratings on the same day. Instead, invite loyal customers to leave a review when they come visit your business, or have one or two friends add reviews on different days during the week. Spacing out your reviews will have the biggest impact in your rankings.
If you have more than one office or store, list each on it’s own Google Places page. Enhance each page with photos and videos, and encourage your customers to do the same. The more activity each page has, the better off your rankings will be.