We’ve long been a fan of Google Places, with its ability to put your business on top of specific searches in your area. But if you were wondering how to optimize your Places page, then look no further. Here are five tips on how to optimize your Google Places page.
1. Fill out the form completely and accurately.
Remember that Google’s aim for the Places page is to give searchers the best possible information. That means that you should fill out all the fields in the forms that they provide you when you sign up.
Most people fill out just the contact details, their e-mail address, website URLs, description and categories, thinking that this is all that is needed. But do fill in your business hours and give as much additional details as possible. From the brands you carry to parking spaces, to adding a lot of photos to your profile.
While on the subject of photos, make sure that you use a stand-out picture for your profile page. Think of it as an online brochure that you would present would-be customers. If you own a furniture store, it would be best to have your best pieces on the profile, as well as a great shot of your store. If you own a restaurant, a photo of your best dishes, or perhaps your dish of the month would be a great share.
2. Make sure you also work on the citation sources.
It is not enough to claim just your Google Place page, but also check out which citation sources are applicable for you. Most businesses would do well having profiles on Localeze, SuperPages, Yelp, iBegin, Citysearch, Judysbook, and InsiderPages. But there are some sites that are industry-specific. For example, restaurants may also have additional profiles on foursquare.com or OpenTable.com, while hotels might gain from having reviews and a presence on TripAdvisor.
3. Use your keywords, but use it wisely.
Make sure that you do use keywords in your description, brands and wherever possible. But unless your keywords are part of your business name, do not put it in your business name. If your business name is Colorado Moving and Trucking, do not change it to Colorado Moving Company and Trucking just to hit the “moving company” keyword.
Most of all, avoid keyword stuffing.
4. Ask for reviews.
This is one of the easiest ways to get a higher ranking on Google Places. Ask your customers, Facebook likers, Twitter followers, blog readers to post a review for you. Remember, however, that you cannot pay for a review, as Google finds this a questionable conflict of interest practice.
5. Avoid spamming and other black hat techniques.
One of the most important lessons that we learned from Google’s Panda update is that there is no getting over Google. In time, your spamming and black hat techniques would be addressed and all your hard work would come to naught.
The best way to get a good Places ranking is to just have it built up naturally. Have your customers leave a review for you. It may take time, but at least you know that it would pay off in the long run.