Customers on their desktop computers and smartphone devices are conducting more searches that are local in nature than ever before. According to Google, 1 in 5 searches on Google.com are local in nature, which means that of the 11 billion plus searches conducted monthly on Google more than 2 billion are location-based. What’s more, Google states that 40 percent of all mobile traffic is local in nature . As location-based services become increasingly more prevalent, the ability for online marketers to provide relevant, localized information becomes a prerequisite to online success.
In the latest white paper from The Search Agency, ‘Optimizing Your Online Presence with Google Places,’  we discuss Google Places, an often overlooked, free resource for promoting your business and location online. In the document we detail the value of this service and provide best practices for setting up and optimizing your Google Places account. Below are some of the practices outlines in the document. To learn more about the service and how it could augment your current online marketing strategy, download it here .
- Keyword Research- Many of the same keyword research best practices should be applied Google Places. Make sure to include GEO-specific keywords relevant to your business.
- Complete All Info- It’s not evident that a complete profile correlates to rankings, but having all fields filled out creates a better user experience and potentially allows a listing to rank for a wider set of terms.
- Encourage Reviews- Reviews on Google Places are a great way to promote your brand, but also check out what other websites customers are leaving reviews in your vertical.
- Be Authentic- Just as with traditional SEO content, do not spam or use black hat tactics. Do not keyword stuff, artificially inflate your service area, pay for reviews, try to claim other businesses’ listings, etc.
- Follow Google guidelines- Claiming, optimizing and maintaining your profile can be difficult since the process is filled with bugs, but you don’t want to resort to tactics that Google specifically says not to.
What’s been your experience with Google Places? Any other tips and tricks you have found to be particularly effective?
- The Week We Searched For- May 11, 2012  - May 11, 2012
- Interview with Cassandra Caswell-Stirling  - May 10, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 30-May 2, 2012  - May 4, 2012
- eRetailers Winning Customers at the Zero Moment of Truth  - May 3, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 20, 2012  - April 20, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 13, 2012  - April 13, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 6, 2012  - April 6, 2012
- An Interview with Erik Freeman  - April 5, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- April 2, 2012  - April 2, 2012
- The Week We Searched For- March 23, 2012  - March 23, 2012