Local SEO Services – How to Optimise Your Google Places Listing
Do you run a local business? Do you want to be the first business listed in Google Places when someone searches for your speciality + your town /city?
Here’s how to optimise your Google Places (formerly Google Maps) listing, which is something Wizard of Web offer as part of their local SEO services.
To get your Google Places listing ranked at number 1 just follow these 8 tips:-
- Get More Reviews than Your Competitors
The best way to do this is to send an email to your list of customers and ask them to write a review of your services. Send them a link to your Google Places page to make it easy for them.
Make sure your reviews are all genuine and from previous or current customers/ clients. If it doesn’t contravene any local laws you could also offer them an incentive to write a review for you.
Getting reviews from your customers should become procedural within your business so that you keep ahead of your competitors as this is the main factor in ranking at the top of Google Places.
For every 10 reviews your competitor might have, you need 20 or 30 to stay ahead.
2. Leverage the Power of Photos & Videos
You can add up to 10 photos and 5 You Tube videos to your Google Places page so take full advantage of this. It’s a good idea to include your logo and web address on any photos or videos for branding.
Photos can be of you, your team, your premises, your products or even events relating to your business. Remember people look at people so don’t bore your prospects with a photo of your offices without you in the picture.
Your videos don’t need to be the full 10 minutes allowed by You Tube, 2 minutes each is enough. Making a video is an opportunity to talk about what makes your business great and also to connect on both a personal and professional level.
3. How to Use Keywords in Your Local Business Description
Just like regular SEO, using the right keywords in your listing’s 200 character description is important. Choose your keywords carefully. If you need help, do some SEO keyword research using the Google Keyword Tool.
The caveat to this is not to cram the description full of keywords at the price of making it hard to read, turning your prospect off. Your description is an ideal opportunity to write a short advert for your business.
4. Use Keywords in Your Business Name
If your business name includes a description of your service, for example ‘Acme Cleaning Services’ this is going to help as ‘cleaning services’ is a popular keyword.
If you’re starting a new business I recommend coming up with a name based on popular keywords relating to your services.
5. Choose Your Categories Carefully
The categories you choose will have a big influence on what you show up for when someone does a local search. You can create your own category but it’s better to choose one of Google’s auto-complete suggestions.
6. Connect to Your Google Places Page Through Backlinks & Citations
Whenever there’s an opportunity to link back to your Google Places Page take it. Make sure your link contains anchor text with your keyword(s).
Every Press Release, article, blog post, photo or video should have a link back to your listing. Citations and reviews on other authority sites are also really helpful to improve your rankings.
Here are the top sites to get citations in the UK, if you’re in the US or other countries, many of these sites have an equivalent there.
Top 17 places for UK citations:
- Local Data Search
- Thomson Local
- Trusted Places
- We Love Local
- Brown Book
7. Create a Coupon Offer
You can create a coupon and upload it to your Google places listing so that it can be downloaded by visitors. Make sure your coupons are a limited time offer and change them regularly. The expiration date on he coupon will encourage people to take action.
Track your coupons and test which offers work best.
8. Google Tags
Google Tags are the little yellow tags that appear in front of the listing when you do a search, for example, ‘Dentist Portsmouth’. Once you’ve verified your listing the tag will appear right next to the maps listing and will help you stand out more.
If you are a local business, Google Places is an essential place to advertise your business and optimising your listing will help with your local SEO to get more prospects to your page.
Use each of the 8 steps above to bring you more business. If you’re too busy running your business Wizard of Web’s Local SEO Services can get this done for you.