Do you know the importance of your Google Places page listing?
With the recent change in Google's search engines results ranking algorithm, your Google Maps/Places page now integrates directly into the organic search results, with many local business' Places pages ranking near the very top. By claiming and optimizing your Google Places page you can ensure that you have great organic placement plus make sure your business information is visible and accurate to consumers searching for your products and services.
Before we get started on the how-to of setting up and optimizing your Google Places page, you may be wondering "why even bother?"
In addition to the reasons listed above, here's another essential reason to claim your business listing on Google Places.
Can you spot the problem with these Google Places pages?
If you don't claim it, someone else can. And, as you can see in the case of the WingHouse Bar & Grill, someone else has claimed their logo, Black Chapel Tattoo Studio. Do you really want someone else advertising for their business on your Google Places page?
Claim or Set Up Your Place Page
To get started, you'll need a Gmail account (Google email) account for your business. If you have a personal one, go ahead and create one specifically for your business to keep everything professional. Visit the Google Places web page and sign in with your Gmail account. If you don't have one, click "Create an account now" to set up your new account.
1. Once you are logged in to your Gmail account, click the button that says "List Your Business." To see what information Google has on your business, enter your primary phone number. If your business already exists on Google, you can still verify it and personalize it with your business details.
2. Add or edit your basic business information including your address, phone number, email, website URL, hours of operation, description and business categories. Google allows you to select or create up to 5 different business categories so take advantage of this option to give your potentail customers a variety of ways to find your business. Make sure that at least one of your categories is a default Google category to help your Place page rank higher in the search results.
For your Business Description, you want to focus on top product and service keywords but also remember that actual people will be reading this so make sure to have a business description that appeals to both the Google algorithm and your potential customers. This description shows within the Google search results for your Place page so make sure you use it to entice customers to click through to your Google Places page for more details.
3. Optimize with Content. Add interesting and valuable information to improve your Google Places Page rank in organic search engine results. So what is interesting and valuable information? Pictures, videos, and descriptive details about your business. Your pictures may appear in the Google search engine results next to your business' listing so make sure you post pictures that are clear, appealing and relevant to your target audience. For no charge, Google allows you to add up to ten photos and five videos (via YouTube). Definitely take advantage and swap them out regularly to keep your content fresh.
4. Verify your Google Places Page listing. You can verify via phone or email. Google requires verfication with a PIN, or code, to validate your are the business owner or business representative. Once you've received your PIN, enter it into the alloted space and you're all set.
Congratulations - once you have successfully entered your PIN your Google Places Page is "owner verified" and displaying on Google Maps with all the fantastic information you provided.
Manage Your Reviews
Just because you've successfully verified your Google Places page doesn't mean you're done. The final component to a robust Google Places page is customer reviews. Make sure you are actively monitoring reviews posted to your places page. Ask your current customers to write stellar reivews for you. And if you stumble upon a negative review, take the time to respond in a professional manner that aims at resolving whatever the compliant was. Additionally, Google aggregates reviews from across the web so your online reputation across other review sites plays an integral role in how your Google Places page reviews stack up.
Need help setting up your Google Places page? TeamBishop at ReachLocal Orlando will claim, set up and optimize your Google Places page as well as tell you how you can get the most from your web presence without having to add to your hefty workload. To set up your Google Places page consult, call 321.422.6600 x122 today!