In the new era of local SEO, “Google Places” plays a very important role to rank the website. Google Places listing can prove to be really helpful for small businesses. Every year Google brings several algorithm changes which has a direct or indirect impact on the rankings. In addition to keywords, Google is giving more importance to user experience and quality content to rank websites. With Hummingbird Update, long search terms are more in trend. Including your location in the target keywords is the best way to optimize your website.
Sometimes we do not know where to start to improve rankings, specifically when it comes to local search results. However, there is one place to start that is Google Places. The Google Places listing gives you a right edge when you target a local area. When the potential customers search for some query, if your Google Places page is relevant to the search query, it will come up in the search results.
Here are 5 simple techniques for improving your Google Places page ranking:
1. Business Listings
Business Listing is the easiest way to get your business listed to local and national business directories. You should claim your business in local business directories such as Yellowpages, Yelp, Bing, White pages, Angieslist, Super pages etc. And if you are not able to find your business in these directories, then create a new listing with the required details.
2. Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) Consistency
To achieve desired results in local SEO, you need to ensure NAP consistency. Name, Address and Phone Number should be same on the website, Google Places page and other local directories. If you have given different NAP in different local directories, then google will get confused that which NAP is correct. And this is not a good Local SEO practice. Although, it is harmful for the website as your local ranking will never come up on the top of the Google Map. The best way to check the consistency of these three is to use Yext tool. This tool will help you check whether your business listing information is correct or not. With premium Yext account, you can rectify your incorrect listings. Otherwise, you can do so with manual efforts.
3. Local Schema
The other important factor in Local search rankings is the local schema. Here is sample local schema code:
You can validate your schema tag through Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool.
4. Embedded Google Map
It’s good to embed a Google Map on the contact us page. Embedding a map is very simple. You need to search your business name in Google Maps. After that click on the settings icon and then click on the “share and embed map” option. A popup will open, click on the embed map option. Copy the iframe code and paste it into your contact page.
Nowadays, Google gives more preference to those websites who have maximum number of genuine reviews rather that websites that have no reviews. This is another factor for improving your Google Places rankings in SERPs. Avoid taking false or fake reviews. It is best to get positive reviews from happy customers over time. Getting genuine reviews on Yelp, Google Places are key to your overall success in local search optimization.