Claim Your Listing
First, you will need to make a claim for the Place Page of your business. If the phone number of your business is already published, there is a good chance that a listing already exists for that phone number on Google Maps. To find out if it is listed, visit the page labeled “Places for Business” Search for your business using the business’s phone number.
If you do find an entry, you will have the ability to edit it. To edit it, however, you will need to prove to Google that you are the actual business owner. Verifying that you are the owner is relatively easy. You will also have to verify you are the owner again any time you edit information on that Place Page.
Update Your Listing
Next, you will need to add some basic information about your business. This will include your business’s name. Simply enter the name of your business as is. Do not try to add more than that to your business’s name especially location related information such as the name of a city or a street. Google will likely punish you for doing so.
You should also enter at least your local phone number as opposed to only a toll free number your business may use. This is because Google Maps uses the area code to help locate your business. However, you will also be able to include more than one number including any toll free numbers as well. Also, don’t forget to link to your professional website.
One of the best ways to improve the visibility of your Google Place Page is through your use of categories. When editing your Place Page, you will be given the opportunity to choose a category for your business. In total, you will be able to choose five categories. Make sure to choose five that very accurately describe your business. You also have the option of creating custom categories if none of the available ones accurately describe your business. However, again, make sure not to use words that describe a location such as a town or street. Your entry will be punished for this.
Utilize Keywords Properly
Another great strategy is to correctly implement keywords. If you want to use very specific keywords that you think people may use to find yours business, do so by adding them to your business’s description. These may also include the names of locations such as cities, streets, and so forth. However, make sure this description reads naturally.
Another feature of Google Place Pages is the ability to add photos of your business. You should make sure to add at least one image. This image will show up next to your business’s listing in search results, calling attention to it. You can directly upload images. However, you can also enter links to images hosted on Flickr and Picasa. Images at these sites can be “geotagged” to link them to a specific location. This can further increase the possibility of your business being located by actual web surfers.
Link Youtube Videos
You also have the option of including five different YouTube videos. Including such videos is also a great idea. If you do so, make sure these videos are also geotagged and keyword optimized. Including videos may make your place page a lot more captivating. This may drive more customers to your business.
Some Paid Features
While all these methods are likely to improve the visibility of your business on Google Maps and are free, there are also a few options you can pay for as well. These options are Google Boost and Google Tags. Purchasing these options will not greatly increase your page rank in Google. However, they can certainly help call attention to your business.
For a twenty-five dollar fee, you will be able add a yellow tag to the search entry of your business in Google Maps and Google search-engine. Using such a tag, you will be able to call greater attention to things like coupons, restaurant menus, and more. If you use Google Boost, you will be able to actually create your own search-engine advertisements using your account in Google Places.
Start Accumulating Reviews
Lastly, another thing you should try to do is call attention to your business through positive reviews and high ratings. It is of course not ethical to create your own reviews and ratings. Instead, you should at least try to encourage them. For example, if you have certain customers that love your restaurant, suggest they write a review for you the next time they compliment your establishment.
Read, Respond & Interact to Your Reviews
The last thing you want to do is set up your online profiles and let them sit. Just how we preach about interacting with your customers on facebook and twitter, responding to online reviews is just as important, if not more in connecting with your customers. Even a bad review is an opportunity to resolve a problem, repair a relationship or share your side of the story for anyone else listening. If this isn’t something you have time for, then lean on LeapGo. Did you know, that in addition to our social media management starting at just $500/mo, we also offer an additional service that includes monitoring & responding to your online reviews on dozens of different sites?
If you’re interested in having LeapGo manage your social media and online reviews please request a quote.