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As if local SERPs weren’t enough, what with Places integration and ever-expanding descriptions, Google is now rolling out City Pages. This new innovation is designed to provide a locals-eye-view of any destination. With inhabitants providing reviews on businesses within the city limits.
This is being rolled out in a few U.S. cities currently (Portland, Austin, Madison and San Diego to be exact), with information built up over a number of months and using a variety of quirky techniques. Essentially the idea is to develop a broad overview of what is actually happening locally, rather than simply relying on algorithms.
If you have seen a few extra words crop up in your Google Maps listing, you’re not hallucinating. The latest in a long series of tweaks has seen the search engine integrate descriptive keywords into the SERPs listing.
This new feature, which is simply a number of descriptive words or phrases, is designed to make a business stand out. Therefore it will look to highlight the terms that best describe an individual company, rather than the more generalised keywords you can expect to see in SERPs.
A lot of companies will offer SEO services or ‘local optimisation’, promising the moon and delivering little more than a Google Places profile. Whilst it is important to have your business featured, there really is no need to pay for the privilege. It should be part of your SEO work, not the sum total of it.
Unfortunately, some people pay for exactly that. And as has been reported by State of Search , it appears that some people are doing so twice. An agency that has been creating Google Places profiles on behalf of clients is now using them to blackmail those self same businesses. Therefore if you don’t come up with additional cash, your listing will be removed.
I recently wrote a post giving steps on how to create coupons on your Google Places profile, but if you have a physical location that allows customers to come and attend then there are plenty of other sites that you should also actively be using.
Check-In Sites are becoming more and more mainstream especially as they are freely available as apps on all the main mobile phone platforms.
Including a map on your Contact Us page or Directions page can help give visitors a good visual indication as to where you are located as well as help to enhance these pages.
Adding a Google Map to your website is easier than you may think and you don’t have to be an expert Web Developer to do this.
Here is an easy to follow step by step guide to adding a Google map to your website.
Continuing with my series of posts on how to improve your local presence in Google, this week’s post offers another step towards helping further strengthen your Google Places profile.
Having your Google Places map included within a custom map can help boost your overall listings.
If your profile is yet to be included within a custom map then there isn’t anything stopping you from creating your own.
As with any work carried out in this manner, you should always be offering something helpful as opposed to spamming.
As part of my Local SEO blogs I have covered optimising your site, creating your Google Places profile, the importance of gaining reviews, how to respond to bad reviews and the benefits of creating a well maintained blog to accompany your local campaign.
But what else should you be doing to help improve your local rankings?
Creating coupons on your Google Places profile is an excellent way of promoting special offers to your local audience. These coupons can also help bring new custom to your store.
These Local Search Coupons are used in store by customers printing them off and presenting them when they come into the store. They can also be used by presenting them on a mobile phone. These offers can be totally exclusive to customers who find you via a local search on Google and don’t have to be running in conjunction with any in-store offers (unless you want them to be of course). Read more
Yesterday Google launched Local Product Availability on Google Place Pages which allows you to showcase your products on your Place page for potential customers to see before they either visit your site or your store.
It is so simple to set up and all advertisers who have a Google Place Page and are also signed up to the Google Merchant Center should take advantage of this straight away.
I recently wrote about how important it is for businesses to gain reviews to help improve Google Places rankings, but what happens if you receive bad reviews or negative feedback?
Well responding to bad reviews is possible if you have a verified Google Places profile.
Negative feedback is very different to positive reviews you may have received. First off it is very easy to take them to heart, after all this is your business that someone is criticising. So try not to let your emotions take over. It is important to remain professional and treat the review just like you would a positive one.
As we all know, Google loves good quality content and the phrase “content is king” has been promoted since the dawn of time.
Most site owners turn to creating a blog as the answer to supplying a continued stream of fresh quality (or so we would hope) content. But how many sites are using their blog to help improve their local search rankings in Google?
Thought through correctly, your blog can become one of the most powerful tools you have in your local search campaign. Read more