Google Places Page Optimization

Optimizing your Google Places Page (formerly known as Google Local Business Center) listing consists of ensuring that the following information is entered completely and accurately.  Profile completeness is a ranking factor within Google’s local listings.

Include Basic Business Information
Use the full company name and address.  Use accurate information as Google will attempt to cross-reference it with information from other databases.

E-mail and Description
Use an e-mail address that is associated with your domain name, such as tammy@virtualtech.com.

In the description box, describe your business, making sure to include the products and services you offer. The business description should include the name of your business, what you offer, your location, and the areas you service.

Business Category
Google Places offers one main category and four sub categories.  Choose the most appropriate suggested main category and then proceed to select sub categories.  If the suggested categories do not match what you offer, you can use the custom category option.

Service Areas
Google Places allows you to define your service area. This is helpful for mobile businesses such as landscapers and contractors, as well as home based businesses. Google Places puts more trust in brick and mortar locations, so whenever possible, use a physical location.  They do offer the option to hide your business address.  

Hours of Operation and Payment Options
Filling this section out goes towards the overall completion of your Google Places listing.

Images and Videos
Adding images and videos makes your local business listing more interactive and counts toward a 100% complete listing.  They can also help your customers to have a better understanding of what you do.  Be sure to upload at least 10 images to help make your profile complete.

You can also upload business videos such as commercials, promotional videos and how-to videos.  Google Places allows you to upload up to five videos, but only one counts towards your profile completeness.

Additional Details
This section allows you to provide additional information about your business. This might include parking location, if you offer free estimates, how long you have been in business, or awards you have won.

You can also add links to your Twitter or Facebook pages. Just add a field called "Become a Facebook fan" and link it to your Facebook page.

November 1, 2010

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