[box color=”blue-vibrant” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]
Your Google Places page can be one of the strongest marketing tools you have in your arsenal, as long as you know how to use it to its fullest potential. For that reason, it is important that you invest some time and energy into getting it just right, and from the get-go. Having a complete, accurate, and optimized Google Places listing can mean the difference between reaping some major rewards from your Internet marketing efforts and going completely unnoticed. So, how do you make sure your Google Places page is speaking well on behalf of your business? Here are five most important components of your Google Places listing:
Keyword-rich business description. Your business description should be concise, informative, and easy to read and understand. However, it should also be optimized for search engine spiders, so that your Places page sits as high in search engine return rankings as possible. Do some thorough keyword research to find strong keyword phrases that can maximize your page’s SEO, and then place those keywords strategically throughout your business description, being careful not to cram them in nonsensically.
Accurate and thorough business information. You should take the time to fill in every single space when it comes to completing your business listing. Don’t leave anything blank, and be as concise and accurate as possible. In order to rank high in Google search results, your site should have a score of 100 percent, which requires that you input something into each available line in your listing (including the ones that are indicated as optional).
Photos and videos. Studies show that people surfing the web are more responsive to images than they are to plain text. Google Places allows you to upload a large number of photos and videos. Take advantage of this by uploading the maximum allowed amount.
Positive customer reviews. Your Google Places listing includes a customer review section. Encourage your satisfied customers to write a short testament about your business and ask them to post them on your Google Places page, for all to see.
Product and service keywords. As previously mentioned, keywords are important when completing your business description. However, you should also be specific about products and services you offer, and use strong keywords when describing them.
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