The Do’s & Don’ts Of Google Places – Optimising For Local Search

Most people will have noticed that Google Places listings are appearing in more and more search results – this gives your business the opportunity to gain a first page spot (or more first page spots) for search terms.

As with all things Google, if you try and trick them and put spammy keywords everywhere you will find that your listing is soon removed. As with all proper SEO there is a correct way to improve your chances of gaining those coveted first page spots:

Accurate & Complete Data – Google strives to give searchers exactly what they are looking for, therefore it goes without saying that if the data you enter into your Google Places listing is accurate, consistent and complete you stand a better chance of being listed in the search results. It is therefore beneficial to fill out all the fields available to you – even the optional ones.

Keywords – As with anything to do with white hat (ethical) search engine optimisation, making sure you do not spam keywords across the listing is crucial. Making sure that the keywords are placed strategically and ‘organically’ will yield better, long lasting results.

It is advisable not to use your keywords in your business name (obviously unless this is your business name) and in the business categories – this will (eventually) make Google remove your listing.

It is possible to use your main keywords strategically in your description, however you cannot keyword stuff – your description must read well and be useful for the searcher.

Reviews – Another thing that affects the rank of your Google places listing is the number and quality of the reviews you have. It is not advisable to make up lots of reviews yourself (for obvious reasons – spam), but it is a good idea to encourage clients and associates to place reviews on your business listing.

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