Google Places may be a free and simple service, however, there are many ways to screw up a good thing. Proper Google Places SEO takes prior planning for a single location business. If you have a mutli location or franchise then you need to do even more to set things up properly. Here are a few crucial tips that will greatly enhance your Google Places listing and your chances of ranking higher and creating relevance in Google’s eyes:
Google Places Listing Name and Phone Number Relevance
1. Make sure your business name (the registered one), address (what you will be using for at least the next year or longer preferrably), and phone number (no forwarded numbers, skype, 800, or VOIP numbers) are
posted clearly on your site and can be crawled by Googlebot (googles search spider). I prefer to have this in the top right hand corner of my header or banner or in the footer of my clients site. Crawlable text, snippet, or html in the footer is great because then your details show on every page Google crawls. It is important that Google can match relevant and correct information about your business across MULTIPLE data sources and networks.
Guard Your Google Places Listing Account and Data!
2. Make sure ONE person is in charge of setting up all new accounts and profiles that will show your name, address, and phone number. This person or employee should be instructed to use the EXACT same format on every social media site, local business directory, article, video, and press release if they can. This is absolutely crucial. You are creating a new ecosystem of relevant data for Google to crawl, the more relevant data across trusted sites, the more trust to your Google Places listing.
Duplicate addresses can cause merged data, a nightmare with your Google Places SEO Listing
3. DO NOT list more than 1 business per address! Using suites, bldg., and unit will be considered a unique second address in googles eyes. Example:
Bobs Window Cleaning
123 Main Street
Bobs Window Replacement
123 Main Street, Suite 102
(anytown, anystate, USA)
These are considered 2 seperate addresses and will not confuse Google. I’m not saying make up business names and addresses just to get more listings, I’m saying if you have multiple businesses AT the same address, you should have a separate name, unit identifier, and phone number (local) to differentiate them to Google (and your customers and tracking for that matter).
4. DO NOT setup a Google Places listing with a duplicate phone number from another listing!
5. DO NOT keyword stuff or use a city identifying keyword in your categories or additional information. Google already knows this when you input the city your business resides in and so does the searcher. Google see’s this as clearly attempting to game their algorithm. Yes, I know, some businesses are still getting away with it but just keep an eye on them, typically you’ll find they will either be called out by competitors over time or Google eventually slaps the listing, usually competitors will get to you LONG before big G though.
6. DO NOT keyword stuff your title or business name in your Google Places listing optimization. Unless it is part of your registered business name I would advise against doing this unless you enjoy having this marketing channel turned to “OFF”.
7. DO NOT use a redirected URL for your Google places listings main website.
8. DO NOT use a 1-800 number or a non local number for Google Places SEO best practices. Remember, this is LOCAL SEO.
9. DO NOT use 4 or more capital letters in a row!
10. DO NOT use ANY of the following banned words in Google Places:
List of Google Places Banned Words:
Pill as in the Village of Pill
Pine (sounds kinky?)
Sex as in Sex Therapy
Venus as in Venus Hotel
World Trade Center
Sound off below if you’d like to add to the conversation below. If you would like a free 15 minute consultation about problems your business is having in your Google Places optimization strategy, Contact us today for a free quote on Google places SEO and setup. You can also check out our Google Places SEO page in Google Plus to see some results in highly competitive niches and cities nationwide.