Optimizing your Google Places Local Listing
If you have not claimed, verified and optimized your Google Places listing, you are missing out on one of the easiest, free methods of internet marketing available for your business. Google Places, formerly known as Google Local, displays local business listings and information at the top of Google organic search results. These listing show up alongside a map, and ranking in the top is a marketing boon for any business.
You may be thinking, “How can I set up my Google Places?” This process takes two basic steps:
- Claiming your Google Places listing.
- Editing/Optimizing your Google Places listing
This posting will focus on how to register and claim your listing. Optimizing your listing will follow in a separate post.
Step 1: Register an Account with Google
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create a Google account. If you do have a Google ID, you’re ready to move on.
Step 2: Find your Google Places Listing
Once you’ve set up a user ID go to Google Maps and search for your company. Find your listing on the page and click on “more info.”
If, for some reason, you do not see your business listed, you’ll need to create a listing.
Step 3: Claim Ownership
Once you click on the more info link, you will land on your business’s Google Places page. On the top right side of the page you will see the words “Business Owner?” Click here if you are the business owner. If you are not the business owner, please have the actual business owner handy when you take ownership of your Google Places page. Google requires verification either by telephone or by mail.
Telephone verification requires that a person be available to answer the phone (keep the lines clear) and verify the business with a secret PIN code. Mail verification involves a postcard being mailed to your business address. Phone verification is the fastest way to get verified.
Tips to keep in mind when claiming your listings:
- Claim and verify existing listings – do not create duplicates
- Only one listing should be created for every physical location
- Whenever possible, list a local phone number rather than a 1-800 or other toll-free number. Local numbers tend to give you higher ranking.
- Google only allows you one Places listing per phone number. Trying to trick the system may work for a little while, but Google will catch up to you, and your business will be penalized.
Now that you’ve claimed your listing, it’s time to move on to editing and optimizing your Google Places listing for best results.
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