This post is all about "Google Places Best Practices."
Since you now have your business claimed and verified on Google Places, we can look at some techniques to make sure you use your listing properly. First off, Google Places isn’t really a service you “use” per se. It isn’t like Facebook Places in that regards. When I say “use,” I really mean how you should set it up to get the most advantage from the search engines. Essentially these best practices are steps to take to ensure your listing shows up above other businesses.
Google Places ranking depends on a number of items, including (but not limited to):
1. Claiming Your Business — I will assume you did this in the last step, but if you didn’t, here is a good incentive to do it. Claiming your business is one way to raise it in the Google rankings. Generally speaking, claimed businesses show up before unclaimed ones.
2. Choose City Center Locations — If your resume writing business has multiple locations (for example, a home office and a business office), list the one that is closest to the heart of the city. While it might be impossible for you to control, Google does lend weight to a businesses proximity to the city center.
3. Categorize Properly — You can choose a number of categories for your business, and I suggest using as many categories as possible. The catch is they have to be legitimate categories. Don’t reach too far for categories, because if they aren’t related to your business, Google could penalize you by ranking your site lower in Places.
4. Fill Out Your Profile — Fill out as much info in the profile as you can. Include payment types, hours, and other information — like parking, for example. Google definitely prefers profiles to be more filled out, because it means more value for their users.
5. Add Images — Google gives you 10 spots for images, and I suggest using every spot. This will not only make your business listing look better, it will contribute to the “fullness” of your profile. You should have your business logo and your photo, at a minimum. You might also have a photo of the outside of your office (if you work from a commercial location). You can also include logos for professional organization affiliations (PARW, NRWA, CMA, CDI logos, for example) as well as for résumé certifications (ACRW, CPRW, NCRW, CRW, etc.).
6. Reviews — People can review your business right on Google Places, so encourage some of your favorite customers to write you a review. It will look great on your profile, and help your listing show up at the top. Google Places also looks at review sites on the web. If applicable, make sure your business is reviewed on sites like Yelp.
Google Places is only gaining in popularity. Tapping into it today and optimizing your listing with the tips above will ensure your business has a prominent place on it.
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