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Google Places and Your Business’ Online Success, Part 2: Optimizing Your Places Listing

You’ve undoubtedly seen Google Places at work already. Let’s say you’ve recently looked for a florist in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania and so you typed in the search term “Womelsdorf florist.” The florists with letters (A, B, C, etc.) by their names? Those were Google Places listings.

Google Places offers just seven top spots on any given search results page. You want your business to have one of the seven letters in front of it, otherwise your competitors (those with the letters) could very well get your business.

Here’s how to help your Google Places listing get “letter worthy.”

As you fill out your Places listing, fill it out completely. Upload photos. Upload videos to YouTube and be sure your Places listing has links to those videos. Fill out the form Places gives you to describe your business as thoroughly as you can.

You’ll want to be sure you use a street address for your business that Google can verify and place on Google Maps.

Use the phone number as listed in your phone directory for your Google Places phone number.

Be sure the directory information you place in Google Places is the same information you placed in any other online directory. Google’s going to check and Google does not like inconsistency.

No keyword stuffing. Just Do. Not. Do. It.. Do not! Yes, you can put keywords in your Places description, but don’t try to stuff it with keywords. If Google catches the stuffed keywords — and it will! — it will remove your listing.

Google is going to call your business line to verify your phone number. Make sure someone is there who knows you’re filling out your Google Places listing to answer the phone.

Work to get other websites to link to your Places listing. Called “citations” in Google-speak, these help Google believe your site is “popular.” Popularity results in a higher ranking. You’ll want to create other listings in other local online directories and also at other review sites such as Four Square, Yelp, YellowPages.com, Citysearch.com, etc. Write and send news releases to your local newspapers and hope for coverage (and that the paper has a link from its online story about your business to your site).

Ask people to review your business at your Places listing.

Offer special offers at your Places listing. In other words, give your customers a good reason to visit your Places listing. The tried and true discount coupon can work wonders here.

Finally, if you don’t already have one, get a well-optimized website for your business. Update it often (Google “likes” websites that change/update often more than static, “brochure-type” sites).

Interested in learning more about how your Google Places listing can help your business shoot to the top of the search engines? Call GoiMarketing.com. We look forward to hearing from you!