Do you see that dusty collection of phone books in the corner of your basement? That has become the fate of the Yellow Pages. We no longer refer to the Yellow Pages for local businesses searches. Instead, we use our mobile phones to search for local businesses that deliver pizza, provide emergency roadside services, and repair heating systems. ComScore recently released a study that there are over 3 billion local business searches conducted each month, most of which occurred on mobile communication devices. As a business owner, you need to tap into this growing lucrative market.
Large, colorful Yellow Pages ads attracted more customers than the basic small print ads. You need to create a Google Places page that attracts both search engines and potential customers. As a small business owner looking to increase revenue and retain loyal customers, you need to know the 5 basics to boosting your Google Places page in the rankings.
Use Popular Keywords
As with organic websites, the primary objective of creating a Google Place page is strategically using the right keywords to enhance your search engine ranking. Integrate relevant keywords in your Google Places listing to increase search engine optimization. Google Analytics, another free service from Google, provides you with the keywords that search engines rank high in local business searches. Remember that Google penalizes businesses that overuse keywords in their Google Places listing.
One glaring mistake that some businesses make is presenting different content across online business directories. For instance, a business may present their physical address on Yelp, but provide a Post Office box number in their Google Places listing. Conflicting business information hurts your Google Place ranking. You achieve consistency by linking your online business profiles. Use the same images on each of your online profiles to ensure you present a consistent brand image. Consistency also means updating your Google Places listing to reflect management or ownership changes.
Fill out Every Field
Google Places provides numerous fields for you to complete before claiming your business listing. Most business owners only complete the fields that are most relevant to their businesses. You will achieve a high Google Place ranking if you complete each field, even the optional fields that most businesses skip. Optimize your business listing to include photos and images that customers connect you your brand.
Why should you do all of the optimization work, when your customers can do some of the optimization work for you? Customer generated content in the form of reviews is a powerful optimization tool. Encourage reviews that reinforce what you claim on your organic website and local business listing. Uploaded video testimonials and photographs will improve your Google Place ranking. Make sure you respond to reviews and moderate comments on your website and social media pages.
Promote Your Strengths
Highlight your business strengths, while using the popular keywords that describe those strengths. Describe current promotions and service discounts. Potential customers want assurance that your business will solve their problem. You provide assurance with clear and concise content that entices customers to contact you.
As with general Google searches, you want your business to rank high for your Google Places strategy to attract new customers. In fact, your business must rank in the top 7 of local search lists. Start attracting new customers today by optimizing your Google Place page!