Are you on Google Places already?
If you are not, no need to worry as you can easily find steps on signing up and claiming your listing.
Now, you are probably wondering why plenty of business owners are eager to enlist with Google Maps application programming interface (API).
Well, here are some of the biggest reasons.
- You can advertise your company without spending a dime given that Google Places is free. This means that you can extend your marketing reach without increasing your budget.
- It does not matter if you are running a small enterprise, you can stay ahead of your competitors (even if they are operating big businesses), especially if you rank high in local queries for relevant keywords.
- You can sign up for Places even if you do not have a website. All you have to do is integrate some of the profile fields with the right key phrases and you can rank in search results.
- More and more consumers are using their mobile phones to browse the Web for services or products. When you have a Places page, you can cater to this group.
- Around 20% of the queries done on Google are local indicating that over 11 billion of its searches each month are location-based.
- Many potential customers who include a location in their key phrase are READY to obtain a service or buy a product, which indicates that there is a huge likely of converting search to sale.
These are all great aspects! What is more, you can just imagine making your offers visible to millions of possible buyers. With that said, here are advance ways you can take advantage of such wonderful benefits.
Make Your Places Page Rank
1. Sign up for Google Business Photos
This is a pilot or trial program available in particular regions only such as Australia and the United States.
It has a Street View technology, which helps create an amazing 360-degree experience for your potential customers. It also has other interactive features, which let the users explore your storefront or physical location. Finally, it provides you with “Trusted Photographers” who perform personalized and non-disruptive photo shoots.
So, what do you get out from it? Well, it has the following advantages.
- It gives you excellent images letting target buyers have a good look at the decor, style, and layout of your business interiors.
- It allows you to use Maps APIs or html snippets, which you can link from your official website (that is, if you have one).
- It publishes the photos on Maps, Places, and other Google features or properties.
2. Boost your citations
These are Web references, which usually consist of your address, local phone number, and name but may not include your website URL. Google sees it as a verification of your site’s importance to online communities. Hence, you have to ensure that these details are consistent, whenever you submit them to any of these portals:
- Trusted directories
- Business associations
- Supplier/client websites
- Forums, blog or review sites
- Your social media pages
3. Encourage or request more reviews
Check out the image below.
Using “hotels in Las Vegas” as the search term, the results come up with familiar names like the Bellagio and Casino Royale, which both has a star rating and total reviews.
As you can see, the former with more Google reviews is first on the list. This is because local search algorithms see this aspect – number of reviews – as a strong signal; hence, putting you on top of its results.
With that said, you have to encourage your satisfied customers to give a review. Once you have around five, the stars will start appearing. Finally, you should take time to monitor any feedback to help you manage online reputation.
4. Highlight and optimize important elements
These include the following:
- Photos – You can add ten images to your Places page allowing you to offer visual representations of your company. To help spiders crawl through these easily, you can add each picture with a relevant keyword.
- Videos – If there is one hosting site where you should be uploading your videos, it is YouTube, which is the second leading search engine. Given this insight, you can create a video that features your products or services. Again, incorporate its filename with key phrases.
- Hours of operation – Never fail to inform your target customers when you can accommodate them. There is a section on your listing where you can indicate this.
5. Keep your account updated
Always maintain your Places page by monitoring and responding to reviews, posting updates whenever there are developments (e.g. new product or service, upcoming event, sale, etc.), and uploading the latest images or videos. By doing these things, you can ensure high ranking in local searches and loyalty among your customers.
Do these strategies seem difficult or what? As long as you have dedication and the right tools, you will not have a hard time improving your Google Places page and keeping your business on top.