If you’ve worked with Google in the past you’ll know just how hard it is to rank for Google Places for many searches. It’s also apparent how important Google Places have become – they often take up the top parts of the page for a search term. So even if you rank first for a certain keyword, you could see three to six Google Places ranking above you. The question is, what tricks can you use to secure your spot?
1. Set Up
First of all you have to set up your business page, which can be done by completing your profile on Google Places. All you need is a Google Account which is free and easy to set up, then onto the more interesting stuff.
If you don’t know what a citation is (you should if you’re reading this), it is basically a mention of your business on another site. As close as you can get to the exact match of your Google Places listing the better. So if you have your link, description, contact information or anything else, make sure it matches to your Google Places page. This will also help your organic rankings as well – it serves a dual purpose.
3. Get Listed
This is important to get the best citations. They can come from pages such as Yahoo, Superpages, Insiderpages, Angie’s List and many more, but these are the ones that are regarded as giving you the most juice. This will allow you to give Google all the relevant information about your business. You will want to make sure that your details are comprehensive because filling out as many fields as possible can really help with your rankings for all different kinds of search phrases.
4. Make Sure of the Accuracy of your citations
You will need to go back and check that all your existing citations are correct, as well as the ones you are getting listed – there is no point in getting listed with the wrong information. Make sure your citations have accurate names, addresses and the correct phone numbers. It has even been thought that providing a physical address can help your placing. It is important to ensure that your website details are correct but more importantly that the data on your website is correct and the same as these citations.
5. Build more local links
Not simply the general SEO link building back to your site, but more local links that mention your business name, address, phone number and URL. As with normal SEO you can include them in forms of social media and posts, but it would be beneficial to get these links from other sites such as bloggers, business sites and directories because they act as a sort of review.
Now onto reviews and as hinted above, reviews are strong links that show trust. Reviews are important to both getting the citation indexed and ranked highly in Google as well as propelling the Google Places listing. You will want to get as many reviews as you possibly can on as many different sites as you can, this will help a lot in improving your ranking. You can get people to review by encouraging customers and suppliers to do it, or by securing mutual agreement reviews from businesses in the same industry to help get the review ball rolling.
7. Make updates to your places page
Just by changing the main areas of your Google Places page, you can create a jump in rankings. You don’t have to edit the images and videos, but in my experience, just by editing the description and related areas can make a difference.