Google Places SEO

Google Places Search Engine OptimizatinThese Google Places SEO Tips are proven to boost your website ranking to the top of local listings.

2011 is going to see major changes in the way that Google presents local search results using Google Places. In December of 2010, we saw the first of what we believe to be major shifts in the way that Google’s presents information for search users.

Google is going more ‘local’ than ever before. This will present unprecedented opportunity for your business to capitalize on this shift and let Google work in your favor. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive Google Places SEO guide, but to lay the basic foundation and provide some slightly advanced tactics for you to use immediately.

With these Google places search marketing strategies, your website should see great gains within a minimal amount of time.

Create External SEO Citations

This step is recommended long before you setup and establish your Google Places Page, but if that is not the case for you, that’s okay too. We use “Universal Business Listing” or ‘UBL.org’ in order to post citations immediately upon beginning a Google Places search engine optimization campaign.

If you are on a limited budget and unable to afford the cost of UBL’s service, we recommend that you immediately submit to these directories: Insider Pages, Yelp, Super Pages and Merchant Circle.

Note: Make 100% certain that the company information and website address that you enter is exactly right. You do not want the search engine confused about where the physical location of your company is. That may hinder the places seo process.

Get Your Citations Indexed

Most citations will be indexed rather quickly based on the trusted status of the parent website, however this may not be always the case and it is best practice to add seo index weight to your citations anyway. We advise that you do this by creating 15-25 backlinks to your citations to boost citation search marketing value.

Our methods prefer to use a combination of article backlinks (Article Marketing Robot or FTS), social bookmarking (SocialADR), and Web 2.0 articles (HubPages, Squidoo, WordPress). Pinging your citiation URL’s with a service such as Pingler or Ping-O-Matic also provides for quick indexing.

Begin Gathering Reviews

We are convinced that Reviews within Google Places will have more and more seo weight attributed to them. We feel this way because Google is doing a good job of telling us that by prominently displaying the review section and giving it more screen time.

Tactic: When creating reviews, use 1-3 Keywords that are associated with your search keyword target in the Title and Description. This will strengthen keyword relevance of your site to your reviews. Your goal should be to gain consistent reviews over 30-60 days and end up with 15-30 reviews (relevant and keyword rich) during this time period with and average star rating of 4-5 stars.

During this time, it is important that you also accrue reviews on other sites such as Yahoo, Bing, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, and City Search. Aim to receive 10+ reviews on each of these sites during your Google Places SEO campaign.

Important: It is inadvisable that you use your own ID, IP Address and Home/Work computer to create these reviews. Your IP address is monitored and noted by the search engines and your Google Places account (or other accounts) may be suspended.

Setting Up Google Places for SEO

When setting up your Google places page, the things that you don’t do are just as important as the things that you do.

1. DO NOT overuse keywords in the category section.

2. It is unnecessary to include your city locale in the category section. Google already knows where you are located, so it is redundant and not best practice.

3. DO NOT use toll free numbers as the Primary Business Number. Use a local number with a local area code. This appears to make a difference as Google is attempting to root out straw companies trying to game the Google Places system.

4. Use a real business address, not a private residence and make sure that the business is located in the city for which you are attempting to optimize.

5. “Service Areas and Location Settings”
Check – “No, all customers come to the business location”.

The above is merely “Part 1″ of our Google Places SEO campaign strategies. Keep an eye out for an update to our local search marketing series and continued places seo tips and tactics located here: Google Places Optimization

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