Optimizing Using Google Places To Increase Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips

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This video session shows the new form of internet marketing and SEO marketing has come into the game, Local Search Marketing. When performing searches for local businesses, Google has increased its local search results to encompass their Google Places business directory.

As I’m sure you have seen in your own personal searches, Google now puts Google Places listings above even the organic search results when searching locally with a geographic keyword. What this means is there is now a level, or at least more level, playing field for small, local businesses to compete against the monster corporate companies in local search engine results.

It’s more important than ever to take time to optimize your Google Places page just as you would your website. In this blog, we will look at some key points to keep in mind when optimizing your Google Places page for local SEO.

First Key Point: Completely Fill Out Your Profile

It is very important that you take the time to completely fill out your Google Places profile with complete information. Not only will this give potential customers the necessary information about your business, but additionally, Google favors places listings with complete information.

Make sure to think of all possible categories for your business and add them accordingly. These will be the main keywords google will use to associate your listing with local search inquires. Finding effective and accurate categories for your listing is critical for getting your business listing in-front of qualified potential customers.

Many businesses on Google Places miss out on adding pictures or video to their page. This is a very important step to completing your profile and is the first visual glimpse potential customers will have at your business. I would suggest spending some time on picking the exact pictures and videos you would like to use. It is also important to remember that on the Google Places main listing it will only show the 5 most recent uploads. This puts an even greater importance of the last 5 pictures or videos you upload because they will be seen by everyone visiting your places page.

I would suggest including at least one of the following pictures/videos in your uploads:

  • Picture of the building as seen when driving by
  • Picture of the general products/services offered
  • Picture of the owner
  • Introduction promotional video
  • One testimonial video

Other possible pictures or videos include: certifications, accomplishments, tour of the building, meet the staff video, etc.

With the growth of local SEO and Google Places, many potential customers make a purchasing or contact decision without visiting a business’ website and simply using Google places data. This is why it’s critical to give the most complete, up-to-date business information with compelling content and call to actions.

Second Key Point: Collect Reviews

Once you have your Google Places listing completed, the next step is to start collecting reviews from your loyal customers. I would not start asking for reviews in a shot gun approach, at least to start. Select your top 10 customers and contact them personally to invite them to leave a review on your Google Places page. If you explain that you would greatly appreciate the support, most top customers would be more than happy to quick complete a review. These first reviewers will set the tone for future reviews and thus it’s important to start with your best customers and encourage them to leave a complete review.

After you have collected 5-10 reviews from your best customers, now it is time to start broadening the search for reviews. Create promotional cards you can give to each customer at the register and explain that you appreciate their Google Places review. Additionally, some creative ways to make it known that you appreciate reviews is to hang posters, include a mention & link on their receipts or promo cards with their orders.

Your last source for collecting reviews is to create a promotional campaign around customers leaving reviews. Spend some time creating promotional graphics with a strong call to action that you can use when promoting reviews. Additionally, I would suggest buying a new domain (“Review{BusinessName}.com”) or setting up a new sub-domain (review.yourwebsite.com) that will forward customers to your places page for reviewing. You could setup something like Once organized, leverage your network to collect new reviews. This could include email blasts, social media marketing, specific emails, etc. Anyway you can get the word out that your business wants to collect reviews.

Third Key Point: Link on Your Website

Once you have your Google Places page optimized and have 10+ reviews on it, now it’s time to start linking people from your website to the page. The easiest place to start is to link your footer address to your places page. By linking your website with your places page, this is one indicator that will tell Google that it’s a valid listing and thus improve SEO score.

Some other places where you can include Places page information include:

  • Include a link/graphic to your places page on your Contact Us page
  • Include a “Review Us on Google Places” call to action on certain spots on your site
  • Include a Google Places icon along with your Social Media icons

6 thoughts on “Optimizing Using Google Places To Increase Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips”

  1. Great vid! I’m a big fan of developing quality and relevant backlinks to
    webmasters that are closely related to my niche. My two cents on getting
    better local SEO is to establish these quality and relevant links with the
    right velocity and you’ll surely see positive results.

  2. I just found this video online. This was similar to presentation that I
    gave at sesconference.com in San Diego. I hope everyone finds it useful.

  3. Our very own Peter Liefer shares his insights on How to use Google Places
    to increase Local Search Engine Optimization.

  4. I think so, this video was very informative for me. Thanks! I also want to
    mention that I use youtube to drive traffic to my site since I’m a
    full-time marketer on youtube. Wanna learn how I do it? Go to my profile on
    youtube and find out more regarding what you can do to benefit your web
    business *(how to get huge amounts of traffic, increase sales, views on
    your videos and much more…)*. To your success!!

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