Why Optimize Your Google Places Listing
Research has shown that most people use search engines to get “real world“ results. What that means is that when most people search, they are looking to find an actual local destination that they intend on visiting soon. Businesses can benefit from this discovery by employing Google local optimization.
Google Places is a service that allows businesses to place listings in Google’s local business directory. However, many businesses have not taken advantage of this feature or have not claimed listings that are automatically created by the Google search engine.
People find businesses through Google Places
The Google Places listing is the probably the most important factor in attracting more targeted customers directly from the Google search engine. Users do not have to specifically search on Google Places or Google Shopping to see your Places listing. Depending on the keywords and the user’s location, Google determines whether it is appropriate to display local business results on the search engine results page (SERP).
When Google decides to display Places results on ordinary searches, it displays the listings at the very top of the page. Also, a map is included that will allow users to easily find local destinations that they wish to visit.
Google and other search engines have spent much money and effort researching search terms that are likely to indicate a user is interested in local results. They do this by studying the behavior of users when they search for certain keywords. If Google detects these keywords during a search, it triggers the search engine to look for the best listings in Places. However, Google may display only a few results on the first page and never more than 10 results.
Therefore, it is important that businesses optimize their Google Places listing using the latest internet SEO (search engine optimization) techniques.
How to optimize for Google Places
Google local optimization employs most of the same techniques used in traditional Internet SEO.
Among the methods used to improve the probability of appearing in Google Places results are:
• Creating detailed business descriptions with a proper density of targeted keywords.
• Selecting the correct Google Places categories.
• Creating customized fields.
• Adding photos and videos with your listing.
• Completing all fields including your business hours and area of operation.
• Add posts and responses to reviews to keep your listing active.
• Ensure that your Google Maps location is correct.