Optimising Your Google Places Page

Google Places is a fantastic way to increase your number of search engine impressions, and improve your chances of ranking for location related searches relevant to your business.

It’s surprising however how many business place a heavy emphasis on their organic SEO, but don’t pay anywhere near the same level of attention to local search optimisation.

To try and help you improve your level of local search optimisation, here’s a quick guide to optimising your Google Places page:

Include a location keyword in your organisation/business name
You shouldn’t overstuff this entry box with keywords, but just try and include your location or key service in the name – for example ‘Designbysoap SEO Hereford’.

Ensure you use an area coded phone number
A lot of people will include 0800 numbers or even mobile numbers in their Google Places listing; whilst there’s nothing generally wrong with this, it will improve your optimisation levels if you can use a phone number with an area code that matches your location.

Try and build citations
In a similar way that quality inbound links are an integral element of an organic SEO campaign, citations (a mention of your business name, business address and phone number) are a hugely important factor when it comes to local search. The best way to do this is with online directories and ‘yellow page’ websites, where you can increase the number of citations of your business and increase your ranking in Google Places.

Use all five optional categories
When you fill out the Google Places listing, you’ll be given the option of selecting up to five categories. Although categories are included for you to choose from, you can also input custom categories which can be more long-tail or relevant. Try and get a good mix of pre-determined and custom categories, and ensure you use all five available slots.

Upload geo-tagged content
User generated content platforms such as Flickr and YouTube allow you upload and geo-tag your content; this is a great technique for improving the prominence of your Google Places page and increasing your likelihood of ranking in relevant local searches.

Hopefully that will give you a bit of a head-start when it comes to optimising your Google Places page; you should also make sure that you’re consistent with your information across all the platforms you’re using. Make sure your contact page, directories, yellow pages and social media platforms all contain the same information as your Google Places page, which will also help when it comes to local search optimisation.

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