As mentioned in a previous blog post, a large percentage of your customers will come from a 10km radius of your business, and they need to know you exist.
This is where Google Places comes in – and, while much of the ranking algorithm is an inexact science, completing these five key things will help.
Comprehensive listing: When you register on Google places, there are a number of fields to fill out – and some may not seem that necessary. But they are very necessary because they allow the user to get the most information they can. So you must not only fill out the required fields, but also the optional ones. And make sure you check and double check the accuracy, including opening hours, website URL, email address and so on. Even upload photos and videos where possible. Think of it like doing the extra credit tasks on your school assignments – you know, the ones that made a difference between getting and A or a C. When it comes to Google Places, you want an A.
Keywords: Just like with any search engine optimisation strategy, the keywords you use on your Google Places listing are crucial. Use them in your description – but try not to stuff too many in – and in the catagories. But remember, you are not only writing for Google, but also for real life people, so make sure the copy also flows.
Service Area: This is simply telling the users what geographical area you service. So if you’re a tradesman in a big city, and you don’t want to travel to the other side of town, you can say you service a 30 kilometre radius of X. Conversely, if you want to be found by people within that radius, then having a service area is much better than just having one physical address.
Reviews: These are one of the best ways to get a high ranking with Google search so try to persuade customers to write a review (but make sure they are happy customers!). Some ideas which might encourage reviews are to put a shout out on your Facebook page; send a Tweet; ask for them in your regular e-newsletter, or even ask for one on your website, flier or receipts. And make sure you include a link to your Google Places listing.
These are just a few ideas that we have seen work. Do you have more? Please, leave a comment as we would love to share with our readers.
Direct Sites Online can make your Google Places listing work for your business. If you’re simply too busy to create your listing, then let us know. Contact us now on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9557 7623