Friday, July 5, 2013

Top 5 Tips for optimising your chances of a prime Google Places spot

From a list it and wait approach not so long ago, to the fiercely competitive space it is today, Google Places is gives your local business what Small Business SEO cannot, a featured spot (even more "featured" with recent changes) on page one.
Google Places SEO is now more important than ever with more than 500 000 new smart phone activations daily in the US alone, with 73% of all online purchase activity based in local searches and 82% of traffic through your door or on the phone via searches, there is nowhere better to be than in a Google Place!
Top 5 Tips for Google Place Success
1.      Go the whole hog and optimise your Google places page to the fullest!  Some research indicates that the more detail you add, the better your "local business search" score. 
·         All required fields – and remember that the phone number is vital
·         Focus on 1 "best fit" category
·         Authentic email address
·         Linked Website
·         Brief, meaty, natural description including keywords, product/brand names and geographical locations.  Be specific about your business, don't have the same wording as any other business in your category.
·         Include hours of operation
·         Include at least one method of payment
·         Fill all photo slots
·         Add at least one video
·         Fill in unique "additional details"

2.      Verify it with other reputable directories
Hotfrog, TrueLocal, Bing, Foursquare, Yellow or White Pages – any reputable high authority directory will help to verify your business listing, not to mention provide valuable followed links. 
3.      Use identical address and phone data
If you're on Smith Street on Places, don't be on Smith St on Google + and Corner of Smith and West streets on your website.

4.      Where possible, use Google Business Photos
Rolling out at the moment is Google Business Photos, Google Street view for inside your business – literally.  The street view team comes to your workplace or retail outlet and does a 360 degree video to upload to your page.  Very new, very chic and rolling out to a Google Place near you!

5.      Review, review, review – the three key reviews to conduct
Review type 1: Review your listing, update it, keep it fresh and add valuable content whenever possible.
Review type 2: Review your listing's performance and experiment with tweaks and content optimisation options
Review type 3:  Customer reviews. This is the most important review.  Show Google that your Place is relevant and popular by encouraging all customers to review your place.  Include the link in your emails, on your website and ask in person as your customers leave your place of business.

Google Places gives you the kind of search results you may never be able to achieve with plain local business SEO or content marketing.  Spend some time on your listing and be sure to get it just right.

Author Note:

Dana Flannery is an online marketing consultant with Talk About Creative.  Talk About Creative specialises in online marketing for small business including SEO without monthly fees.  Talk About Creative does Social MediaMarketing, Branding, SEO Content and Copywriting in Brisbane, Australia.


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