Optimizing Your Google Places Page in 5 Easy Steps

Google Places pages are relatively simple and easy to create, every local business should have one.  The difficult part is separating your listing from the competitors. With the amount of visibility a top feature can provide to your local business it is extremely important that you take the time to create unique and detailed listings.  Here are five important and easy-to-do steps that you can make in less than one hour!

1:  Add Pictures

Adding  pictures is one of the most commonly overlooked steps that a majority of local business owners are skipping, it takes less than 10 minutes and requires very little effort.  Find a few images of yourself, your employees and some pictures that detail previous examples of your work.  Upload them into your places page with keyword relevant titles, click save and that’s it.  Google will even store the images on their own servers so you don’t have to worry about the cost of bandwidth or an increased strain on your web server.

2:  Add Video

This second step can really make the difference between being listed on page #3 of the search engine result pages or ranking in the first 3 positions.  Very few business’s have the time, or make the effort to create a short 30-60 second video explaining who they are and the services they offer.  Google values content and the more you can provide them with the more they will value your listing as a valuable informational resource.  Any type of video will work, even if it is a picture slideshow that you create and then upload to Youtube.com.

3:  Customer Reviews

Take the time to ask your customers for a quick and honest review of your services.  Some local business owners even offer $10 or $20 coupons that their customers can redeem or use for a discount.  This adds an extra incentive and can really jump start your Google Places listing with local dialogue from your satisfied customers.  You also benefit from the reassurance that the reviews provide to potential customers that have not yet made up their minds about who they will choose.  Reviews on sites like Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo Local all count towards your Google Places page performance.

4:  Category Listings

This is by far the easiest change to make and can be accomplished in just a few short minutes.  First log into your Google Places account, click to edit your local business information, scroll down to the business description “category” and fill in all five of the allotted spaces.  This will help Google narrow down specifically what services it is that your business provides.  I have attached an image below so you can see exactly where to make the edits.

Google Places Pages Category Description

5: Detailed Description

In my opinion this is the most important part of any Google Places page.  The description is the heart of your listing and where you provide all the juicy details.  Make sure to use the maximum amount of characters that are allowed and be as descriptive and detailed as possible.  List as all the different aspects of your business.  Do not use this as a place to repeat your address or phone number, that will be displayed prominently at the top of the page by default.  They allow 200 characters for your business description and I suggest getting as close to that number as possible.  Be very careful not try and stuff every keyword you can imagine into the description.  Just write an honest and informative description and let Google do the rest.

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