Google Places: A Quick Overview Presenter: Carl Larson – Search Engine Optimist - SEO Team Lead
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Why Google Places?
Google Places is FREE
It is suitable for businesses of any size or scale
E asy for customers to find your business online
Great p ower in competing with bigger giants
80%+ of clickers want to BUY NOW
It is easy to manage the business listing
I t is easier to rank than on standard searches
Did you know….
97% of internet users in the US gather information for purchasing decisions online
86% of users online will at some point in time use the Internet to search for local business
Consumers are 69% m ore l ikely to use a c ompany if they can f ind their i nformation o nline ( comScore )
73% of a ll s earches have a l ocal e lement (Google)
20% of all searches online are for local information, which is over 600 million searches worldwide PER DAY for local companies, services and products
54% of the US now uses the internet instead of the phone book
Phonebook usage DECLINES 2-4% per year
Google Places is the New “Yellow Pages”
Why we focus on Google Places
We believe that e very local business deserves its spot in “Google’s Yellow Pages” and should not be intimidated by the complexity of getting there
Few other SEO firms offer in-depth Local SEO support
What does it mean…
Impressions - How many times users saw your business listing as a local search result
Actions - How many times users showed interest in your business listing and clicked on it
Link Building - practice of obtaining links from external web sites to your own
Google AdWords – main advertising product on the Internet and main source of revenue for Google. Offers pay-per-click advertising, cost-per-thousand advertising, and site-targeted advertising for text, banner , etc.
AdWords Express – special advertising method for local business. It's for business owners who want the benefits of a targeted online ad campaign, without having to spend time managing it.
Local Search Ranking Factors 2011
Pure Local Factors – when the Place page is not merged with the website on the results page . Website irrelevant
Blended local factors – when the website and Place page are merged on the results page . Website adds 30% value
T he ranking factors were divided into two separate lists
Local Search Ranking Factors 2011 1. Physical Address in City of Search 2. Manually Owner-verified Place Page 3. Proper Category Associations 4. Volume of Traditional Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators) 5. Crawlable Address Matching Place Page Address 6. PageRank of Website Homepage / Highest Ranked Page 7. Quality of Inbound Links to Website 8. Crawlable Phone Number Matching Place Page Phone Number 9. Local Area Code on Place Page 10. City, State in Places Landing Page Title Source: David Mihm www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml
Where are you?
Getting it to rank well part 1: IYP-submissions * Google’s search algorithm places a strong importance on the number of incoming links to your site Link and citation building is a continuous process. You must consistently seek new sources of links and citations and stay ahead of the competition . If you want your listing to appear in Google’ s 7 pack then you need your business to be listed by as many sources as possible !
Getting it to rank well part 2: Reviews
Reviews are one of the factors that affect SERP rankings
The Google algorithm searches the website and pulls reviews of your site not only from Google users, but also from sites like yelp, insiderpages, yahoo, citysearch .
Google wants listings to be informative and useful to their users.
Positive reviews are important for customers who visit your site !
Getting Reviews Search Engine Optimist www.MarketingPugetSound.com Get Listed Around the ‘Net Claim Listings/Add Content Encourage Reviews
"The Other Three" - Yahoo, Bing & Yelp
The Yahoo Directory is still one of the oldest and most important directories on the Web
Having a listing in the Yahoo Directory is a quality inbound link to your site.
Yelp is important because it is emerging as the leading consumer review site for many types of businesses and it currently receives high priority from the Google Search Engine results
However, their “ spam filter ” is not working properly in many cases, and usually new users’ reviews get filtered out
Google still controls 65% of all searches in the US followed by Bing-powered search with 29%, Yahoo Search with 16% and Bing with 13%
Google and Bing are remarkably similar – building two different sites/pages to separately target the two engines would appear to be a waste of energy
Google doesn’t allow verifying new listings by phone.
Google Places l istings have a c hanged i nterface
Third-party reviews have been removed from Place s pages
Citations are no longer visible in Google listing
Google s tarts n otifying b usiness o wners o f Google Places l isting c hanges
Google starts calling business owners to verify business address
Constant Changes ! Google is a Rolling Stone 2011 was a year of dynamic changes to Google Places :
What to Do When Things Go Wrong
It is no secret that in most cases Google doe s n ’ t provide support for Google Places problems. What should you do?
Hiring an SEO Firm
No Guaranteed Placement
Strong Track Record with case studies
Logical + Long Term Approach
Transparent Methods + Analytics
Local SEO Resources 1. Small Business Guide to Google Places http://www.gplacesseo.com/docs/Small%20Business%20Guide%20to%20Google%20Places.pdf 2. How to use Google Places to Market Your Business http://www.inc.com/guides/201106/how-to-use-google-places-to-market-your-business.html 3. A Brief Guide to Google Places http://itseeze.co.uk/_webedit/uploaded-files/All%20Files/Resources/googlebusinesslistings.pdf