How to Optimize Your Site
The goal of using Google Places is to get your local listing noticed. In order to do that, you rely on the ability of people to locate your information online using keywords plugged into a search engine. There are three main ways to accomplish this:
Citations or Mentions
Citations are mentions of your business name and address on other websites, even if there is no direct link to your website. The search engine uses the amount of available citations to determine how pertinent your website is to the client. Additionally, if the websites that your business is mentioned on are reputable and reliable, your mentions will carry more weight in the search engine, thus boosting your ranking.
Consistency and Completeness
The amount and accuracy of information provided on the internet is a priority. Keywords play an important role in the way the search engine responds to your site – if you place them in the business name or business categories when it isn’t pertinent, it is likely that your site won’t be considered as legitimate. It’s a very competitive market today: it isn’t just enough to provide the bare minimum of information required to register on sites anymore; you need to add the optional information, including anything else pertinent about your business wherever you can – that little bit of ‘extra’ goes a long way to higher rankings.
While Google sees providing incentives for reviews as a conflict of interest, it is still practical and advisable to create a system of feedback to increase the number of good reviews available. Here are a few ideas:
- Send out reminder postcards
- Utilize the bulk message feature on many social networking sites to remind your fans and friends to write reviews
- Post signs by your cash register asking for customers to write reviews online
- give out flyers with customer purchases with a detailed set of instructions on how to write reviews
- Have a link on your website with detailed, easy-to-use steps for users to write reviews