Google Places SEO is an ever-changing marketing strategy that will attract new customers to your business.
At first, a small business simply claimed and verified a listing on Google Places. In less than two years since the inception of Google Places, the primary goal of a business listing has changed to ranking high in the local search results. The change in philosophy stems from the fact that 97% of consumers use the Internet to find local products and services.
Moreover, businesses must rank in the top 7 of Google Places business listings. Any rank outside of the “Magnificent 7” is a waste of your time and marketing resources.
What is Google Places?
Google continually fine-tunes a unique database that collects detailed information about a business. Your business submits information such as: business name, phone number, mailing address, email address, and website URL.
Google uploads all of the information about your business and establishes a “Places” page for that business. You rank high in search engine results by creating popular Google Places for SEO keywords.
The Importance of Local SEO
ComScore released a search engine report in 2011 that stated more that 11.6 billion searches went through Google in just one month. Local searches comprised nearly 2.3 billion of the 11.6 billion searches.
In late 2010, Google increased the importance of local SEO, by allowing local search results to dominate their search engine results. Most small businesses have not yet taken advantage of Google’s new local search platform. They have not effectively implemented an effective Google Places SEO strategy.
4 Google Places SEO Tips
Google will continue to favor local searches its search engine calculations. Since most businesses have not yet capitalized on this trend, you have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of this momentous shift by implementing 4 Google Places SEO tips.
Create External SEO Citations
Create external SEO citations before launching your Google Places SEO campaign. Use a Universal Business Listing (UBL) to establish a presence for your small business online. You enhance local search results by submitting to directories such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Yahoo! All of the information that you submit for your business must be accurate and current.
Index Your Citations
Never assume that your citations will be indexed. An effective SEO for Google Places strategy includes developing back links to increase citation search values. Social bookmarking and Web 2.0 articles provide the most popular way to create back links.
Google Places SEO has more impact when you collect reviews within your listing. You want to collect 30 reviews over a thirty-day period that consists of 4 or 5 star ratings. The same keywords that help you build effective SEO should appear in the reviews. Moreover, encourage reviews on other search engine portals, such as Bing and Yahoo!
Best Google Places for SEO Practices
As with any SEO strategy, use the right number of keywords in your Google Places content. Google penalizes content that overuses keywords. Make sure you list current information that includes a local phone number and business address.
Toll free numbers and Post Office boxes do not optimize the city where you operate your business. Effective Google Places SEO encompasses discounted products and services that you mention in your listing.
2012 will continue see changes to how Google presents local search results via Google Places. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to fall behind the Internet marketing curve. Stay on top of the rapidly changing Internet marketing landscape by getting your business ranked in the “Magnificent 7.”