If you own a business, and you haven’t heard of Google Places, then you’re losing out. So many people concentrate on getting on page one of Google’s organic or PPC results, but people often overlook one of the easiest ways you can end up on page one. Google Places is Google’s free business listing service. This service allows business owners to create profiles for their business that can include their business name, location, pictures, hours of operation, phone number, website, videos, and it will even put you on the map… literally! By creating a Google Places account, you are also automatically placing your business on Google Maps.
When someone does a search in Google, organic and paid search results display, as well as local Google places listings. The geo-targeting is based on your computer’s IP address, and several other factors. This is extremely powerful for google scraping api small, local businesses since many cannot compete with larger corporations that have endless marketing budgets and resources. With a targeted effort, small businesses can quickly become top dog in Google Places. Here are a few tips to help you rank higher in Google Places results.
Customer Reviews – Point blank… the more reviews you have, the better. Google ultimately looks to provide their users with a good experience and relevant content. By getting positive feedback through reviews, and promoting interactivity, Google will push your “place” up higher in the results because it’s getting a lot of traffic. How do you get these reviews? Ask your customers! Send out an email asking customers to submit a review, ask your Facebook fans to give you a review, or tie in a cool marketing promotion (i.e. Go to Google Places and submit a review and you could win a Flat Screen TV).
Other Business Listings – Google will scrape other business listing directories for your businesses phone number, address, business name, etc. The more consistent you are when entering your information into other directories; the better off you’ll be in Google places, since this information is also displayed in your profile. Why is that? Google likes to feel that they’re providing relevant results, and if your business information all over the Internet is inconsistent, then they feel like they have “junk” information.
Keywords – You will be given the opportunity to enter in targeted keywords that people may use to find your business. Be specific and do your research before entering these keywords in. For example, if you are a new home builder in Flower Mound, Texas you’ll want to use keywords like “new homes flower mound” or “new home builder texas” instead of “homes”, “flower mound” and “texas”. Also, don’t try to trick Google by over-saturating your company name with keywords. They will catch on! Instead, put the real name of your business.How To Optimize Google Places