Google Places Optimization, Local Search Domination

QuestionIn today’s online marketing world a website is not enough. As an owner of a business that depends on the customers in your local area hopefully you understand the importance and power of local online search as consumers shift from the yellow pages to online searching.

It is essential to your business’s success that you show up on the 1st page of Google and especially on Google Places; you know, those listings at the top of the search with the red pinpoints pointing out local business.

There are only 7 Google Places slots available for any given local search term on the first page. You want your business to be one of them for the search term your customers will use to find you. So it is vital that you get this right. There are most likely 50, 100 or even more businesses competing for those top 7 spots in your local area.

The challenge for you is to know and understand MORE about how to be in that top 7 than your competitors will know or understand, and it is not enough to know and understand, you must implement, take action grab your place on the Google Places.

There are a lot of common mistakes being made, and by empowering yourself with the knowledge and taking massive action, you can easily succeed at this important and powerful game.

It is essential that you get Google love, because the more you get, the higher you go to the top of the search results.

The first step is to start with your website. Make sure it is optimized. Your business name, address and phone number should appear on every page and be exactly how you want to read. For instance if your address 123 Main Street you must decide if you are going to spell out S-t-r-e-e-t or use the abbreviation, St. whatever way you choose, you must now be consistent and always enter it the same on every directory and in Google Places. If you have a discrepancy, you will not be a match and will have a hard time ranking on the first page. And that includes the period at the end of St.

With Google Places optimization, you have the opportunity to fill out your hours of operation. You will want to fill this out in Places and other directories, and also have this appear on your website for total optimization. If you change your hours on your site, then you must edit your directory profiles too.

When you Sign up for Google Places, it is a good idea to already have signed up on a few other directories and here is the list of four that you should sign up to first:

Yelp
Super Pages
Insider Pages
YouTube

A strong strategy that I use here is to get a few backlinks to each of these pages before setting up Google Places.

Now You are ready to claim your Google Places. Again, you must use the exact contact information that appears on your website.

You should have a solid understanding of the keywords that buying customers will use to find you and use those keywords throughout the process of filling in the information.

You will want to take advantage of every aspect of the Google Places form, leaving no blank areas. The more information you give, the closer you are to success here.

There is a term in Internet marketing called “Stuffing”. It is the Over use of a keyword, business name and domain name. You want to be very careful not to stuff your Google Places, because quite frankly, Google watches out for stuffers and panelizes them, making their efforts useless as they spiral quickly to the bottom of the listings.

Google places allows for an amazing amount of content to be placed within it. This includes photos , videos, and blog posts. The more you have the more Google will give you love. It is recommended that you have at least 5 videos for domination.

When your customers leave comments and reviews about your business this tells Google that there is social proof that your business deserves to be on top so customer feedback is huge and you can offer incentives to your customers and clients to leave feedback that will offer a positive outcome for all.

These are the fundamentals of getting to the top of the Google Maps, but even more important than getting there is staying there. Too many people have quit their efforts once they got to the top of the Google Mountain. That is one of the biggest mistakes. Not only do you allow your competition to gain on you when you relax your efforts, Google will give more of their Google love to those that build over time rather than those that just spend a weekend piling it on and then abandon the efforts.

So solicit for reviews regularly
Keep adding content
And keep up with other directories as well.