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How to Add and Optimize Your Google Places / My Business Page

12 Apr
2016

In case you have not heard of Google Places, it is a free platform where a business can be listed for marketing, advertising and promotion.

Many research studies have shown that more consumers are using the internet to search for information on your local products and services. This means that your local businesses must have some internet marketing for small business strategies as part of your overall business marketing system, as that is where your target market may be found.

Many of us automatically reach for our laptops, mobile phones or other internet-enabled devices when we want to find a business service in our local area. The major search engine providers have realized this and have set up free local business listings such as Google Places for business. The key point here is that business owners need to get to grips with marketing on the internet. If they do not, they face losing out to their competitors who have learned how to do it, or employed someone to set it up for them.

This is an excellent opportunity and you will benefit in a number of ways. The question is how you will increase that benefit. You need to optimize your page so that it can be found in searches and offers everything that potential customers need to know.

Use Keywords in the Business Description

You will need to give a description of your business and have 200 characters to do it in. While this needs to be short and sweet, you also need to make sure keywords are added. Find out what the most important words are connected to your business and then fit them in naturally into your content. This will help to avoid keyword stuffing, which you will be penalized for.

Create a Page for Each Location

Google Places makes it possible to add local SEO quality to your business, which poses a problem for businesses that have more than one location. You will need to create a separate page for each location that you have and then include a local number of each one. Avoid using PO boxes, because this will mean that your page will be removed by Google.

Select the Right Category

Your page will be placed in certain categories and you will need to select the right ones. You can put your page into five categories at one time, which will aid with SEO and searches. Think about the type of categories that you are using in your description and make sure they are standard for better search results.

Only Give Your Business Name

Avoid adding keywords to your business name, unless it is part of the name. While keywords will help your page to be found, misuse of them will lead to Google de-ranking the page and possibly removing it completely. Google will know when someone is trying to play the system.

Reviews are Good

Well, as long as they are good reviews, right? Google Places offers the ability for customers to leave their comments about your business, which will mean that potential customers will find out more on your one page. However, you should also ask customers to leave reviews in other places, including CitySearch and Yelp. This will help boost your ranking in search results because you are seen as more credible.

If you completely optimize your local listing you will be able to get it ranked higher than your competitors. This listing will also allow you to appear on the first page of Google much more quickly than other methods using traditional search engine optimization.

Kevin Fairbanks
author

Kevin Fairbanks is the managing partner at PinkTie Technology Group located in Syracuse, NY where he builds everything from responsive websites to mobile applications. In his spare-time he is either spending it with his family or tinkering with electronics.