Google has started to focus on SEO to match user behaviour. Rather than treating a search term exactly as they are, they are looking into the context in which they are being used. Part of this is a real emphasis on local search.
With mobile devices being used more frequently people are searching Google for information they are going to use in real time, such as nearby coffee shops and takeaway locations. Therefore you need to ensure you are on Google Places for Businesses and are optimised.
How To Get On Google Places
Getting started is simple. You simply need to go here.
The best part? It’s free.
Your business name must be the exact same as real life. Do not get sneaky with keywords, phrases and the like. You will be caught and have to live with the repercussions.
Your address must be the one physical address where you will receive mail. With the phone number, it is preferred if you have a landline number rather than a mobile number.
Once you have filled out this information Google will send a postcard to your business to ensure you are the actual business owner. Log into your account, enter the verification code and you will now appear in local search results.
Now you can further optimise your listing.
Adding Business Photos
For no fee, you are able to create a tour of your business for your customers to interact. These photos will appear in the local searches and enhances your authority. You will need to use a Google-approved photographer and pay the standard rate but they are affordable.
Fill In All Of The Fields
Opening hours, website URL, accurate business description and payments accepted. If Google is deciding which to rank higher, they will lean towards the business with the most information available.
In terms of the description, take your time to create something that encourages clicks. You can include your goals and what your customers achieve – forget keywords. Remember, you want to always focus on the problem you are solving for your customer.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Seeing customer reviews on a listing helps people get information about you and ensures people at least go to your business. Provide business cards with your Places URL or simple a tap on the shoulder to encourage them.
Ensure You Integrate With Google+
This makes sense as it is another Google product and does not take long to set up. With this function you can create content for your customers, respond to reviews you receive above and create a cover photo.
Choose Specific Business Categories
You are allowed to choose three categories to list your business. It is preferred you use very specific categories than the vague ones such as ‘cafe, use ‘tea and biscuit café’.
Google Places for Businesses allows you to be found by customers all over Google. With the correct information you are easy to get in touch with and you are able to start conversations with your customers. Ensure you follow the advice above to give your business the best chance at being the first local business seen.