“Why isn’t my site being listed on Google’s local business listings?”
It’s a question being asked more and more frequently—especially as Google is expanding the prevalence of local search results. Google Place listings typically show up when someone searches for something locally, such as video production in Cedar Rapids. Being listed in the magical top 7 local Google Place listings can produce excellent traffic to your website, but now the question is: How can that be done?
Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily a quick fix to rise to the top, but here is a best practice “to-do” list to get optimal results out of your Google Place listing.
- Claim Your Google Place Listing. This one seems obvious enough, but you would be surprised at how many business listings go unclaimed by local business owners. To claim your business, go to the Google Local Business Center and claim the listing that Google already generated, or create a Google Place listing.
- List Your Business Phone and Address on Your Website. The key is to make your website as easy as possible for Google search engines to crawl the information on your site, and the physical location of your business is an extremely important ranking factor for Google Place listings. We encourage our clients to include the business address on the footer of each page of their website, as well as to include it on the “Contact Us” page.
- Add Your Location to Your Website’s Title Tags. The title tag of a web page appears in the top left corner of your web browser window next to the Internet Explorer or Firefox icon. The title tag is defined in the HTML code, and this little page title is extremely important for organic search and for local search. If your goal is to rank high locally, be sure your site’s title tags list the city your company is located in or serves.
- Get Reviewed. Another increasingly important ranking factor is the number of customer reviews. Definitely do not fake reviews. You will likely get caught, and the punishment is not worth the risk. Instead, encourage your customers to post reviews of your business to popular review sites such as Yelp.com, CitySearch.com, InsiderPages.com, and SuperPages.com. How can you encourage your customers to write reviews? Include a call for action in your emails to customers, on your website, on receipts (if applicable) and on your social media pages. This might sound a bit tedious, but if you want to achieve high local rankings, it is worth it.
- Add Photos & Video. You want your Google Place listing to be as complete as possible. Part of that is adding photos and video that help demonstrate what your company is about. The general rule of thumb is, the more photos the better, but make sure whatever you include on your page is of high quality. You have the ability to add 10 photos and 5 videos, and I encourage you to take full advantage of this opportunity.
- Register with the Major Local Data Providers. Search engines rely quite a bit on local data providers such as InfoUSA, Superpages.com, Yelp, just to name a few. Metro Studios can provide you a list of great sites to submit your business to. This will aide you on your quest for improved local search ranks.
Hopefully these tips can help your Google Place listing be much more visible, generating additional traffic, and ultimately leading to more business. If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss this further—don’t hesitate to contact Chad Gookin at Metro Studios.
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