Those in the business of Search Engine Optimization often overlook how to effectively optimize Google Places. When approaching a strategy in regards to Google Places, remember that common sense applies, and that more is always better when it comes to how much data you can associate with your Google Places listing. With this in mind, here are seven useful tips for Optimizing Google Places.
Make Use of Your Business Name by Including Keywords
Obviously, don’t overload your business name with keywords, but including one or two more subtle key words can make a world of difference. Just make sure it is done in a user friendly manner, which makes logical sense to the reader. As an example, if your business is a Video Game retailer in Minneapolis, try “Joe’s Games Minneapolis” versus “Joe’s Minneapolis Games”.
Do Not Use a 1-800 Number in Your Listing
Always use a local area code number.
Create Citations Wherever Possible
In the same way that linking is key to organic SEO, citations are critical to local SEO. Any mention of your company name, phone number, or address is considered a citation, and when they come from proper sources, such as USWESTDEX or other yellow page websites, it will drastically increase your Google Places Optimization.
Make Use of Media Sites
Make sure you upload media files, photos, video, anything, to websites such as Flickr, Youtube, or Vimeo, and geo-tag them to your location. Not only will this give people a chance to see your business, and interact with your employees, but it will add weight to your search result.
Make sure you use the same business name, address, and contact information that you are presenting on your website in Google Places, and across all other local websites. Make sure to be careful with abbreviations, or different formats of your address on different third party sites, as this will impact the effectiveness of your Google Places result.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Encourage your customers, friends, family, acquaintances, and random strangers to take a moment to write a review of your business on Google Places. Obviously, positive reviews should be the goal, as these will reflect positively on your business, but the pure number of reviews is important as well, and will increase your prominence in the search results.
Register With an E-mail That Uses Your Own Domain
Do not use a hotmail account, yahoo account, or gmail account, when you register on Google Places. This will be just one more link back to your page, and one more presence of your domain name on Google Places.
Of course, there are many, many other things you can do to further optimize your Google Places entry, but this should be a great start for your business. And be sure to monitor your statistics and see which methods are most effective at sending traffic to your website, and generating more clicks to your Google Places page. Google Places SEO is all about trial and error, discovering what does and does not work, and applying that knowledge to your general SEO strategy.