Why is it important
Optimization & Users
Listing & Social Media
Citations & Linking
Analytics & Tracking
Places Listing & Social Media
Google Places Listing
One of the main ranking factors in local search is an
optimized listing using some of Google's own properties, most notably Google
Fill out the standard information first, such as:
- Business name
- Phone number
Hours of operation
- >Website address
Fill out all the information required. An incomplete profile
certainly isn't doing you any favors. Your goal, above all else, is to earn
trust from Google so that they rank your site favorably in their local
When selecting your business name, don't use your keywords
in the title unless it's a natural part of the business. Google doesn't take
kindly to spam in their Places listings.
Once you're done filling out the standard parts of the
profile, the optimization begins.
You're going to select a category (or categories) for your
business as well as write a description. Choose a category that is as close to
your target keyword as possible and feel free to add more than one category
(lawn service, landscaping, etc.) but don't go overboard.
Next you'll have the opportunity to select your service area
(if you provide in-home support, delivery, etc.) or decline this option
entirely (people have to come to you) as well as some other pretty standard
information (payment options, etc.) and the option to add photos or video.
Studies show that photos of your business (even just the outside of it) entice
more people to click than those without photos.
At the bottom of the page, you have the option to add
additional information. This is where you can start using some keywords.
Remember, don't go overboard by adding too many. Google takes spam on Google
Places very seriously, and they might remove your listing.
Your best bet here is to provide a list of your services offered
(which typically happen to be your keywords).
Once you're finished, you'll have to verify that you are the
owner of the business by accepting a call from Google and entering the PIN they
The next point of attack is to claim your Facebook page and
to start creating social media accounts. Social indicators are a huge part of
local search, and your Facebook listing is amongst the most important of them
all. Google uses social accounts to verify the information in the Google Places
listing, so it's important that the website, address, phone number and all of
that information appear the same across all platforms.
To claim a Facebook page:
- From the page, click the gear icon and select
Is this your business?
- Follow the steps that appear on your screen. Add
and verify information about your business such as the address and website,
- Facebook will then ask you to claim your page to
prevent other people from becoming an admin without your permission. Choose to
verify your connection to the business by Email
or by uploading Documentation. If
you choose email, you must have an email address using the site as the domain.
A generic provider like Yahoo or Gmail won't be sufficient for claiming a page.
Once you're an admin, write your description and ensure that
all of the pertinent information is correct (address, phone number, website,
After claiming your Facebook page, you might want to start
thinking about other social accounts you can link your business to. Yelp,
Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram are popular options, but
there are literally hundreds or thousands to choose from.
You don't have to be active on every social site, but it's
important to claim the account (or create it) in order to keep others from
taking it in the future.
Pick two or three social networks and start posting on them
semi-regularly. Popular choices are Twitter, Facebook and Google+, but you can
choose anything that fits your business. If you're a photographer, for example,
Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook might be better choices. If you are a
contractor, Angie's List, Google+ and Twitter might be your best bets. Use your
head and try to decide where your content is the best match.
These social media updates aren't indexed by search engines,
per se, but they do provide a point of reference for your business and the more
updates you put out the more chances Google has to verify that this is indeed a
real, and trustworthy business.
Join a small business or social media group on LinkedIn to find out what's
working for others.