In a previous post, I explained what is Google Places (a.k.a. Google+ Local). In this post I want to give you a broad overview of the four pieces of the “Google+ Local Page Ranking Puzzle.” If you want to be one of the top seven search results on the first page of Google (slots A-G), you need to address each piece.
As you can see, your business website is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle! It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get a Google+ Local page to rank without a well optimized website.
It also goes without saying that this is a very broad overview of the ranking puzzle. There are numerous details to address for each piece of the puzzle – far too many to list in one post. The point here is to give you a big picture of the main pieces you need to concentrate on.
Piece 1: Website: As already mentioned, having a well-optimized website is one of the most important factors in getting your Google+ Local page to rank high in Google these days – especially in large cities and highly competitive niches.
Piece 2: Google+ Local Page: Obviously you need a Google+ Local page to get it ranked! Fortunately, you can create a Google+ Local page in 5 minutes. The challenging part (the most time consuming part) is optimizing your page so that it ranks well.
Piece 3: Customer Reviews: Customer reviews are not only an important ranking factor for Google+ Local, but they also provide social proof for potential customers. The more positive reviews you have, the better you’ll look to potential customers – and the more likely they are to contact you! I’ll be covering this topic in greater detail in a future post.
Piece 4: Citations: You need to get your business listed on national and industry-specific business directories online. Examples of national directories include Yelp, CitySearch, InsiderPages, and Yellow Pages. An example of an industry-specific directory for a lawyer would be Avvo.
These directory listings are called “citations.” A basic citation consists of your business name, address, and phone number. In the local SEO circles we call this the NAP. The more citations you have, the better chance you’ll have of your Google+ Local page ranking. I’ll cover directory listings and citations in more depth in a future post.
If concentrate on these four pieces of the puzzle, your Google+ Local page will be on the first page of Google in no time!