Optimizing Google Places – 5 Ways to Win Local Search

by | Nov 2, 2011

Does your business have a Google Places page?  Did you include optimizing Google places in your strategy for internet marketing optimizing google places?  Smartphones continue to grow in popularity with more than 500,000 new phones being activated daily.  Because of this, your answer to the above questions should be yes – because Google local listings are the first things a smartphone user (and many standard web users) see when they do a search in Google.

Did you know:

  • 73% of all online activity is related to local content (Google)
  • 82% of local searchers follow up with a phone call or show up on your doorstep (TMP/comScore)
  • 66% of Americans use local search to find local businesses (comScore)


Those are some significant statistics to keep in mind if you’re concerned about gaining ground with internet marketing.  There’s a reason local search is so effective – map listings appear over advertisements that used to line the right side of search results.  In addition, local listings and Google Places appear above all organic search results.  They take up so much space in some search results that they can completely push organic results below the fold.

Because of this, and other SEO factors, competition has gotten fierce in the world of search.  Your internet marketing in Tulsa has to incorporate optimizing Google places and a lot more in order to stay relevant.  It might be more difficult to get your business listed in those top 7 or top 5 local map results but there’s still a chance.  Here are tips on optimizing Google Places to get more business from local search.

Optimizing Google Places – Go for the Gold

If you only partially optimize your Google places listing you’ll have a hard time competing with others in your local industry.  When it comes to internet marketing in Tulsa you need to go for the gold and aim to get a 100% score with your Places page.  There are more than 20 different entry fields and many businesses don’t bother filling everything in.  The difference between showing up and being left off the local search results for page 1 could be as simple as not uploading a video.

Optimizing Google Places – Don’t Neglect the Description

Your description is important as it can help sell your business – treat it like a 30 second elevator pitch.  Include product and service keywords to show readers that you’re relevant for their interests and include a few cities where your target market dwells.  Just avoid over optimizing Google Places with too many keywords.  Write it for people first.

Optimizing Google Places – Ask for Reviews

Consider the importance of a review – if you and several competitors have 100% scores on your Places page how will Google rank you?  One method is to turn to reviews.  The business with the most reviews, the best scores, etc. will win at the end of the day.  Not to mention having positive reviews visible in the search results is a great way to win over clicks against business listings with no reviews.

Optimizing Google Places – Get Listed in Traditional Media

While we say traditional marketing is becoming less dominant, it’s certainly not dead.  Google and other local online listing services still utilize phone book databases to build their own database.  If you’re not listed in your local phone book it could affect your ability to rank in the primary local listings.  Widespread traditional database listings could help your position while optimizing Google Places pages.

Optimizing Google Places – Don’t Just focus on Google

There are a number of other directory services out there where you can improve your standing in local search by optimizing your business profile.  This includes

  • Yelp
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Hotfrog
  • Foursquare
  • And more!


Remember that Google feeds off data from other sites as well as local business listings in existing databases.  If you can establish your relevancy on a local level with other sites it can help play a role in boosting your position with local search. Complete Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Hotfrog and Foursquare optimization is included even in our most basic search engine optimization and reputation management packages.

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