Google Places for Business
So you did a search on Google by including your location in the search box and Google has delivered its results. But the first page is dominated by local businesses and a map of your location indicating where they are actually located. The other results are way down the bottom of the page.
It won’t take you long to realise that to compete locally for your small business, you can leverage off Google places. So, how to get it to the top of the page with the Google places listings?
Just remember Google is always changing the rules and how they display pages!
Google Places for Business Listings?
A majority of the new websites representing small businesses do not know that they can get some free visibility on Google by using Google Places. This is because Google is always looking to improve the worth of local search results with useful information. Google places can be a great listing for any local business and getting onto the first page can bring in more customers.
When you setup a page for your business in Google Places, you need to make sure that you provide as much useful business information as possible by filling in all the optional text fields and insert your keywords. Additionally, you should also upload graphics, images and videos of your business as the more information you have on your pages, you will be ranked higher in the Google Places index.
Google Places is helping small businesses reach the local community they provide services in. Local business marketing has reached a new level of success through the Internet. The days of Yellow Pages ads are over and they have been replaced with Google, Bing and Yahoo searches now. Traditional marketing tools like postal bulk mailings, flyers, newspaper advertising or even Yellow Pages have become obsolete due to this shift in technology.
Google Places listings are increasingly finding their way onto the first page of a Google search and your business needs to be there to beat the competition. You will even notice that the businesses that have been ranked higher on Google Places pages have been reviewed by the customers. Your business could be ranked higher if you have more and better reviews.
So how does Google Places actually work?
Google Places for Business listing is used by millions of customers around the world on a daily basis for business purposes. No doubt it is a very powerful marketing tool when it is setup correctly for a location based business.
So how does Google Places work out the ranking for a local business search?
There are four top factors Google uses to rank and score a business:
This is the topmost and basic factor. Google places will rank your business by determining that how close your business is to the center-point of a user’s search.
Properly Optimised Google Places Listing
When you setup a page for your business in Google Places, you should provide correct and as much useful business information as possible by filling in all the optional text fields. By correctly submitting your business, you will not only benefit from exact category searches but also from category synonym searches too. An effectively optimised listing can help you leave your competitors behind you.
Quality of Citations
Citations are references to your business. The quality of business citations is another major component in achieving greater Google Places rankings. Quality citations can greatly boost the overall trust Google has in your Google Places entry.
Quality of Reviews
This is another major factor that can make or break your Google Places for Business listing. The overall scoring system depends upon the quality of reviews you have received for your business or what people think about you. Google utilises all the well known review sites to gather information about businesses; this information is then analyzed for the rankings of the businesses.
These reviews come from local review sites like Yelp or TrueLocal – and these sites can deliver additional traffic (maybe only a little though). AstroTurfing also occurs of these sites (fake reviews) so that has an influence on your star rating
An increasing number of searches are now concentrating on finding the local businesses or services, so it makes perfect business sense for your business to be in Google Places so that you have an extensive internet exposure for your potential clients.