Search engine optimization remains on of the most crucial elements in any successful online marketing campaign. However, as web searches have increasingly been geared toward finding local businesses, whether it’s the mom and pop pizza shop on the corner or the comic shop down the street, local SEO optimization has become crucial to success in the online world, especially for small business owners.
While there are many different local SEO tools that can be used to improve the efficacy of a campaign, few are as effective as an optimized Google Places listing. Consider, Google has more than 400 million regular users, and, according to Mediapost, the search giant has been used by an astounding 85% of all web users. In other words, optimizing a Google Places page, a business listing that is made to get your business recognition in Google, can grant you access to the vast majority of consumers on the web. Here’s how you can transition your Google Places page into powerful local SEO tool.
Three Tips for Improving Your Google Places Page for Local SEO
- Accuracy is Essential
- Choose the Correct Business Category for Your Page
- Use Relevant Keywords in Your Copy
In Google’s guidelines for Places for Business, the number one recommendation for optimizing your page is to make sure all of the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. This means you should make sure your street address appears as it would in a phone book, and it further means that your name needs to appear on your Google Places page as it does everywhere else on the web. This may seem simple, but it can make a real difference when you’re trying to generate traffic.
For Shopify.com, a popular guide to making eCommerce-friendly websites, choosing the proper business category for your business is essential to finding local SEO success. Say, for example, you run a food truck specializing in chowder in the heart of Boston. You’ll certainly want to pick “Restaurants” as your category, but if you can, being more specific is better. “Food Truck” or “Non-chain,” for instance, could make for great categories that tell customers exactly what they can expect.
Whether in general or local SEO, you can’t escape the importance of using relevant keywords in your web copy. In your description of your business on your Google Places page, you should be sure to use smart keywords that make sense to your business. Just remember not to overdo it; Google has made it perfectly clear what happens to businesses trying to increase traffic by abusing keywords.
What other tips would you give business owners on improving their local SEO through Google Places? Sound off in the comments below!