Google estimates that 20% of all its visits are local in nature. In response, they have launched Google Places to aid people in their searches. Google Places is an online listing tool that allows businesses to add their own information (address, phone number, hours of operation etc). It has been rapidly growing, and many businesses have already taken advantage of its convenience and marketing power.

In many ways, Google placing is replacing, if it hasn’t already, paper phone directories and has become the place to go for finding company contact information like phone numbers and addresses. If optimized and managed properly, your listing on Google Places can bring your business many benefits. By working on the listings criteria, reviews and references it grows in importance in its respective category and can be one of the top listings thus showing on the first page of Google’s search results.
Google has tied the dominance of the listing to both your website’s organic presence, quality of reviews available online and a number of other criteria.

Google Places is an online tool that no business owner should ignore. It allows you to list your company’s exact address on a map, which allows potential customers to get directions to you. This saves them time, which can increase their satisfaction and your reputation and therefore leads to more traffic and leads. It is highly compatible with mobile phones, meaning that mobile phone users can find your address and phone number instantaneously. Your business can also choose to post special offers on your Google Places listing using yellow Google tags. It is optional but if done correctly, it can deliver amazing results because it is an opportunity to be different and gives you a rare way to stand out from the crowd.

The first step in a Google Places optimization campaign is to ensure that your business is associated with the proper categories, so that when searched, you will show up. It is important to add as many categories as you can that actually pertain to your business. Google Boost Ads is an optional feature, where Google chooses which keywords your business will appear under to further optimize search results.

The next step is getting a significant number of citations and reviews of your business in order to help your business move up in rankings. Your listing should be optimized with keywords that describe your company’s products and services. Citations are mentions of your business name and address on other websites, with or without a link. They are key when it comes to ranking algorithms in Google and are the equal to links in organic rakings. Businesses with more citations will usually rank higher.

Google Places is an opportunity for your business to gain space on the first page of Google, or gain more space if you are already on the first page through PPC or SEO. PPC, SEO and Google Places optimization have all become highly interrelated and make it easier for your customers to find you. For optimal returns, all sections of your Google Places should be filled out-even the optional ones. It integrates superbly well with other marketing efforts and it is suggested that it is blended with SEO and PPC. A new term called “Blended Results” has been developed to describe how paid search, organic rankings and Google Places have all become integrated and intertwined.

To find out more information and inquire how to optimize your Google Places listing please do not hesitate to contact us.

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