This is the second post in the Local Marketing Success with Google Places post series. Our blog focuses on helping Retailers and Restaurants in the Baton Rouge area understand how to use social and mobile marketing to increase business, but the information in this post applies to any business with a physical location.
If you missed the first half of this post, you can find it here.
Your Google Places Page
Now that we have your website optimized with internal/external links and meta data, and we have your other listing sites matching each other exactly, it is time to create your Google Places listing.
Go to Google.com/places/ and follow the prompts to complete your business listing.
Here are a couple of notes to follow to optimize your listing and get the most from your Google Place.
Fill Out Everything Completely – Don’t forget to include your Hours of Operation or Dog’s name if it asks for it. Google weighs complete listings higher on the set of search results than incomplete listings.
Use Keywords – Google will ask you for descriptions of your industry and business in general. Be sure that these descriptions include keywords about your company. Be specific. Don’t just be a graphic designer. Be a graphic designer that specializes in working with small businesses in the Baton Rouge area. Keywords are your Search Engine’s friend. Use them where you can.
Photos – Google LOVES multimedia. Photos are a great way to elevate your listing above the noise of other listings. Plus, people love them too. Add photos where you can and be sure to include those keywords in your photo descriptions. To give Google an extra added tickle, slide on over to Flickr.com and post your photos there too. Make sure to use keywords, and geo-tag them with your city/address.
Connect your YouTube videos – Got any on YouTube? Great! Connect them. If you chose to post them on a video sharing site that isn’t the second most search site in the world, that’s too bad. Google will only allow videos from YouTube. Go post them there.
Check Your Snail Mail, Seriously
Seriously. After you complete your business listing online, Google will send you a postcard in the actual United States Postal Service to the address you listed. This post card will have a confirmation number on it and a web address. Visit the web address and enter the confirmation. This tells Google that you weren’t kidding when you created your listing.
Offer Cool Stuff to Visitors
Now that you are all confirmed and stuff, Google allows you to offer coupons and stuff to your Google Places visitors. If you don’t have anything cool to offer, create a coupon to have free coffee with you to meet and greet new people.
Reviews – The Motherload
Nothing demonstrates to others that you know your stuff better than other people vouching for you. Encourage current and past customers to visit the review sites we mentioned earlier (especially Google) to write a review about your company. Send them an email with your request and with a direct link to your listing on a couple of sites. Give us a hand and write a quick review about our blog on our Place Listing. Click here
Google weighs quality reviews higher than crappy ones, so encourage reviewers to answer a series of questions in their review or to write as detailed as possible. Reviews like “The food was great.” aren’t going to cut it enough for Google to care.
Finally, Don’t Lie.
Don’t pay someone to write fake reviews. Don’t create a fake login and create them yourself. Enough said.
If you are still a little squirmy about asking people for reviews, offer a coupon or some other incentive. You could even offer to review their business in exchange. But if people like your company, they won’t mind leaving reviews.
Bacon Social Media helps companies like yours manage their online presence through sites like facebook, twitter, YouTube, and foursquare. We do this stuff every day. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line.
Help Us Out
Take a Couple of Seconds and Write a Review of our Blog on our Places Page! Click Here