For any local business which has a physical address a Google local listing page is simply is a must. Google local listings have become a staple in the local SEO industry but the reality is that they are much more than just that. A Google business listing gives your audience the ability to find your local business, see your business information and also give you some sort of credibility that you are a real business where you can just walk in. Now, over the years these local listings have been abused quite a bit leave Google scratching their heads and going back to the drawing board so to speak on how to fix things. Google really hates a poor user experience.
Google is getting pretty good at identifying the black hat gaming strategies some idiots are attempting out there. There is a right way to optimize your Google local business listing and a wrong way. Google has even put out a local places optimization best practice guide for those of you still trying to cram a bunch of keywords where your company name should be. Google places SEO can be very powerful when done correctly and with taste.
Here are some tips directly from the Google guide we should all be using when filling out our Google local listing page.
(This is directly from Google)
- “Do not include marketing taglines in your business name.
- Do not include phone numbers or URLs in the business name field, unless they are part of your business name.
- Do not attempt to manipulate search results by adding extraneous keywords or a description of your business in the business name field.”
- “Do not create listings at locations where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Listings submitted with P.O. Box addresses will be removed.”
- “Do not include information in address lines that does not pertain your business’s physical location (e.g. URLs, keywords).”
- “Use a local phone number instead of a call center number whenever possible.”
- “Categories should say what your business is (e.g. Hospital), not on what it does (e.g.Vaccinations) or things it sells (e.g. Sony products or printer paper). This information can be added in your description or as custom attributes.”