So You Want to Rank Higher on Google Maps? Beware of Google Places Pitfalls...
The first thing we hear from almost every new client is something along the following lines:
“How much are my rankings going to improve?”
It’s no secret that a well-optimized website is going to rank well on the major search engines, but the days of relying strictly on optimization are long gone. Citations from credible sources, client reviews, regularly updated (relevant) content, and even a presence on social media sites are all aspects of Internet marketing campaigns that are carefully considered during the ranking process. What about a local marketing campaign though? Let’s examine Google Places to learn more about certain pitfalls that you should avoid at all costs if you want your address and website to have a strong showing in the SERPs and on Google Maps.
- KEYWORD STUFFING is never a good thing when it comes to content. It often comes across as unreadable and very unnatural sounding. So why would it benefit you at all within Google Maps, particularly if you’re choosing to use keywords in your listing title? Short answer, there is no long term benefit to keyword stuffing your title. In fact, it violates Google's rules. While some companies may find momentary exposure and enjoy high rankings as a result of their “terms-of-use-violating keyword” titles, Google will penalize them in the long run. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- PHONE NUMBER CONFUSION doesn’t help prospective clients trying to get into contact with your business, and is therefore a big no-no in the eyes of Google. Ultimately, Google wants one thing for its listings on Google Maps – accuracy. Google wants real phone numbers that are associated with real addresses so that real customers can communicate with and eventually travel to real, brick-and-mortar buildings.
- Always submit a 100% COMPLETE PROFILE. Google allows users to list a certain amount of information about their companies so that Internet searchers can be better informed when researching a local business. Include relevant business categories when asked (try to choose completely from Google’s list of categories if at all possible), post photos and videos, and be sure to provide business hours and a search radius when you can.
- Make sure that YOUR ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER(S) are consistently displayed on the web. This means that your company contact page on your website lists your address in the same format that you listed it in Google Places. Remember, while Google will certainly take a business owner’s word for the business details you provide it, the search engine giant still relies heavily on scouring the web and cross-referencing business listing information with other credible sources (e.g. Better Business Bureau). Make sure these citations are accurate, that formats used are consistent, and your Google Places listing should begin to steadily move its way up the ladder of page one search.
Pay attention to those specific areas of your Google Places listing and you should be in pretty good shape. If you do it right the first time, it’s going to save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. For more information about how to obtain high search engine visibility, contact the legal Internet marketing team at SLS Consulting. Call (323) 254-1510 today for a free growth assessment.