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Google Places Listing

Google Places Ranking Tips
Google offers you a Google Places listing where you have the ability to make a high quality free listing for your business whether you have a website or not.
While it’s fairly easy to create this basic listing, it can be much more challenging to get your listing to appear on the first page for the keyword phrases you are targeting.
There are some advanced techniques in creating a very effective listing.
Here are seven basic tips:
1.  Keyword Research
Before claiming your listing so you can put your information on it, do your research about what keyword phrases to rank for and what your competition looks like for the terms you intend to target.
Do not optimize your listing for any keyword phrase that does not currently have a Google Places listing associated with it. If you search Google for a phrase and don’t see a Google Places listing, choose another phrase.
Choose five keyword phrases to target and look at your competitors listings to see if their listings are complete. Have they filled in every field? What keywords are they targeting? Have they used their ten photos and five videos?
The answers to these questions will give you an idea if you can expect to outrank any of the listings currently appearing on the first page.
2.  Fill out every field completely.
There are about 20 fields to fill out when completing a Google Place listing. It is important you fill out every field as leaving out even one can negatively affect the ranking of your Places listing.
3.  Use each of the five available categories.
As you fill in this box, Google suggests one category specific to your business which is compulsory. However, you can also add more categories and it is important to do so.
Using the results of your keyword research, use the remaining keywords that describe your business as the category names until you have filled in all five.

4.  You have space for ten photos.
Each business owner is given the same opportunities by Google for their Places listings but many don’t take advantage of them.
Google allows you to use up to ten photos and I encourage you to use every one of them. You can also enhance your optimization efforts by renaming your images to include your keyword phrases before uploading them.
5.  You can upload five videos.
As it is a bit harder to create videos than photos, you’ll often find your competitors don’t use their entire allotment.
However, you can create short "slideshow" type videos which are a collection of photos put to motion. 
You’ll need to upload each video to before you can add it to your listing.
6. Understand citations and build as many of them as possible.
A citation occurs whenever an online reference at another website is found for your business and services. Google sees these as a validation that your business exists and offers the services listed on your Places listing.
Make sure your citations match the information found on your Places listing. You can create your own citations by submitting your information to a variety of online directories including Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, True Local, Hot Frog and a number of others.
7. Get reviews and ratings.
Google will automatically display reviews it finds on sites where people can comment on your services. Having a lot of positive reviews is helpful for your Google Places ranking results and can help you get business over a competitor.
Ask your existing clientele to post a review of your business on sites you recommend to them and perhaps offer them some form of bonus or discount for doing so.
If you spend the time to follow each of these seven tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your Places listed on the first page for a variety of terms.
Just like traditional SEO however, don’t neglect your listing after completing it. While you’ve completed the majority of the work required, continually build new citations, get more reviews and ratings and respond publicly to any reviews received to keep ahead of your competition.


Doug Kercher
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