If you visit www.getlisted.org this has a simple little tool to collect all available listings showing which listings are claimed already as well as providing links to claim any unclaimed listings.
It is important that your profile is completed 100% or as close to it as possible. When filling out information for any of the fields, your information should be unique and very focused on the customer. Your description should use the entire available space to properly describe the business and your unique competitive advantage. Remember, always talk about benefits and not features. Remember that search engines read content and tie it to your keywords. Keywords are typically words or phrases that are driven by consumer market demand and in turn, by using the greatest number of searched keywords and placing that in your description, you are merely providing great content to the end-user where a majority of users would use those keywords.
There is the debate on addresses, whether they should be shown or not. One thing that we have found to be true is that non-physical locations, such as a PO box or UPS store box, is a challenging listing to rank. Google doesn’t want to rank asset-less companies. Google wants to rank locals and you must have a physical address to properly compete.
In addition to this we suggest this is the time to establish your NAP. This is your name, address, phone number and they should always appear in the exact same format regardless of the online property.
Just like the discussion of photos, videos are merely a different medium to view content and the search engines are favoring listings that utilize videos. This is a great opportunity to upload testimonial videos or a walk-through video.
The categories section is one of those section to fill out completely. Make sure that you use all five of your categories and that you have claimed your category with Google’s suggested results first. For any remaining claims you need to input use a custom category utilizing your top keywords.
Testimonials and reviews are something very important.
There are a couple of points that I want to remind you of on your Google Places page that are very important to have filled out properly. If it is filled out properly you will vastly increase your chances of getting ranked.
A newer section found in Google Places is service areas. Since its original introduction on 4/20/2010, the service area feature does not seem to be working unless there are relevant off the page factors that are present. It is highly suggested to not over estimate your service area and do provide Google with accurate data.
Your description section is a section for you to maximize your content. Remember the Google is a huge fan of content and this is an area where all of your services should be covered along with all of your locations and if possible surrounding suburbs.
Avoid These on your Profile Pages
Now moving forward there are six points I want to bring up to avoid using in your local listings.
Stay away from using 800 phone numbers, or as previously mentioned PO boxes or UPS boxes.
Since Google’s guidelines indicate that each business can only have one Google Places page per location, and Google is attempting to localize everything, having one main phone number on multiple pages is a big no-no, at least at this time.
If you go to Google Places Best Practices there is a compiled list of links that you can reference for Google Places resources.
Having different phone numbers on different pages of your website, or different locations throughout the Internet such as Yelp and Google can also have a negative effect on the Google rankings. Sometimes people use different phone numbers for telephone tracking purposes. I generally recommend against this and a local business should never, use more than one phone number per location that is publicly displayed. Forget about the benefit of call tracking analytics for a moment…having multiple phone numbers for one single location from a user standpoint and a memorability standpoint can have a negative effect on the user experience. I’m talking about customer service. It is not good for the end-user . Stay away from this.
And worthy of a mention, having multiple pages for one single business in one single location will definitely hurt the rankings of all the listings…not to mention violating Google’s T&C’s.
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