Google Places Best Practices
Places uses different heuristics from organic search results pages and say that inclusion in Google Places is not influenced by your Google advertising budget.
Whether you are creating your listing or engaging in Google Places Listing Optimization, we need to take advantage of as many features as possible without abusing any areas and thus risking a lengthy period of invisibility on the Google search results pages. Remember that Google is not a consulting firm, does not charge for your local listing, and like the IRS, relies on you to either hire a CPA or figure it out, preferably a little of both. Google Places uses different heuristics from organic search results pages and say that inclusion in Google Places is not influenced by your Google advertising budget. There are a lot of lies and hype about Google Places, partly because of Google’s lack of support but also greatly due to the ignorance and naivety of business owners when it comes to understanding search engine results.
- Business Name: Use precisely your legal business name, or risk a penalty.
- Do Not stuff keywords or geographic terms here.
- Categories: Use all five categories to not just tell consumers what you do, but to influence search results.You must use the first category for a Google approved category.
- Images & Video: Load 10 images and at least 1-3 videos to ensure the listing is 100% complete. See our section on Youtube optimization.
- Citations. These are like links, but they don’t require a hyperlink with the url as much as they depend on the exact same business name and phone number, possibly address for things like yp.com, citysearch or angieslist.
- Have your business address prominent on your web-site, and enter the URL on your Google Places listing.
The last practice is a real problem for small business, many of which are run out of our homes. But once we grow to open an office location, use this key to maximize results. Reviews also help, as well as people searching for your exact business name and town, and even asking directions. All these activities are recorded by google and make your listing more important.