Get More Customers By Optimising Your Google Places Business Listing

Before I begin writing about Google Places optimisation, here are some stats that I think you will find interesting:

Last year (2012) there was over 3 billion search a day in the Google search engine. Yup, every day. Google is supposedly growing at 18% each year so it’s a lot more now. On top of that, 1 in 3 queries that people type into search engines are geographic specific and that will increase to over 50% of all search queries in late 2013 – 2014.

Crazy isn’t it?

If you own a business, and I mean any business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a plastic surgeon, a plumber, lawyer or even an aluminum supplier you need to set up and optimise your Google Places listing right away with those statistics.

In the screenshot below, you can see that Google Places listings now appear above the fold on the first page of Google. This is a goldmine for local businesses. A local business can now, without paying for pay per click (PPC) ads, appear near the top of the first page where your customers eyes are looking. Great isn’t it!

google places on front page

But this then leads me to my next thought.. Why is nobody optimising their Google Places?

In this post, I’m going to go over the strategy and techniques that you as a business owner should use to bring more customers and clients to your business.

Here are three things that will impact your rankings in Google Places:

Completing Your Google Places Listing

Tip number one: Fill out everything. Google wants to give the user the most relevant result so what you need to do is fill out all your details. Not only the main fields but the optional ones as well.

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Website
  • Contact Number
  • Description
  • Categories
  • Business Hours
  • Include Photos & Video

Don’t just do the minimum, really make the effort to complete everything is great detail and your business will be rewarded in the long run.

The key thing to remember here is to have your business name, address and phone number consistent across all your different citations. If your business is listed anywhere else online, it is important that these are all consistent and accurate as citation sources help associate trust with Google Places pages.

Using Keywords

Using keywords relevant to your business in your Google Places description is good for search engine optimisation (SEO). Don’t stuff keywords into your description, just write like you naturally would and that will be perfect for search engines.

The Key To Google Places Domination: Citations & Reviews.

Claim or create your listing in each of the major directories, but remember, consistency is the key for citations across different business directories. Make sure your business name, address and phone number are the exact same across every directory you submit your business to.

Which directories you ask? Here’s a list of the top 10 directories you should sign up for. (P.S – They’re all free!)

There are plenty more directories to choose from. If you want to know anymore, shoot me an email.
Claim listings for your business on different review sites that are popular in your area and encourage repeat customers to leave reviews for your business. This gives search engines signals that your business is in a particular area and that your business is a happening place.

Get listings from local events pages like your local council’s website and community groups in the area.

Last but not least, reviews. Now think about it like this, someone types ‘dentist sydney’ into Google. Five Google Places pages come up on the first page, four of them have zero reviews and one of them has five review with an average rating of four stars.

Which one do you think you would call?

Reviews, reviews! Ask happy returning customers if they wouldn’t mind writing a review for you. But what you have to do is make it easy for them, send them a link to your page so all they have to do is fill out the review section. Piece of cake.

Or you can just bribe your customers. Offer them a discount on their next visit if they leave you a review. Maybe give them a special 2 for 1 deal or how about giving them something for free. It’s up to you but I have to warn you that Google does have its rules: (read this) so you do need to watch out otherwise some of your reviews may disappear.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to the Google Places page and get cracking!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn some more, contact us today!

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