Why should you read this article? I will answer this question with an example. Perform a search in Google using the key phrase: "miami hotel". Let's analyze the result: The sites that are in the pay zone are currently paying between $ 2.5 and $ 5 per click (estimated costs), depending not only on the area but on the position: the higher, the more you pay.
Hard work and a lot of time has cost to the web sites that appear in the zone of Organic Search Results to be in so privileged position.
With all the effort, time and money that these sites are investing and have invested to show on the aforementioned positions … Don't you think it is WONDERFUL that for being present in Google Places, free of charge and no more than 15 minutes, you figure at the top results?
Now that you know the important benefits of inclusion in Google Places (GP), start reading our article.
What is Google Places?
Before beginning to see in detail Google Places (GP), I will explain briefly what it does.
In GP you can enlist the physical data of your company or, if your company is already present, you can claim the ownership and update its information. This information is then used by Google to post in Google Maps and on the diverse pages of local searches results in Google. Why do I say " local searches "? For the fact that Google uses the information of GP only when they are associated with a city or region. For the previous example, with the key phrase miami hotel, Google opened Google Places's results because the word Miami was associated with the phrase, otherwise it would include only the organic results and /or the pay areas.
If you want more features of GP, see the following video:
Does it work for all the keywords?
Depending on the number of companies that are in GP or the volume of monthly searches that has the key phrase, Google may or may not publish the results of GP in the results page.
The way to analyze this is simply using Google. Try searching with your key phrases, then make changes using synonyms and see the results. Always remember to attach your city with the searches, otherwise GP will have no relevance in the results.
If you can not view the results of GP's search with any phrase and / or synonymous, do not worry. Simply enter your company and let time pass. Encourage your colleagues to appear, the more companies with similar key phrase have entered GP, the greater the chances for Google to take those of GP as the first results.
Therefore, do not waste time and enter your company.
The Step-by-Step process to register your company in Google Places (GP)
Before seeing in detail how to get the first positions in the local searches in Google, we´ll take the most important step: REGISTER OR CLAIM YOUR COMPANY. Then optimize your data to achieve the top results.
The following will detail step by step how to enter your company in GP:
1.1 - Log in to GP
To access GP requires a Google Account. If you don´t have one, click on "Sign up now " and follow the steps detailed below.
If you already have a Google Account, start to register your company: Google Places
1.2 - Company registration
Once logged in GP you should make a click on the "List your business". 1.3 - Analyze possible existence
GP needs to know if your company is already registered to avoid duplicate companies as well. For this, you must enter your company number in the format specified by Google: (786) 837-6352
If you do not have a landline you can enter a mobile phone. 1.4 - Complete the tab for your company
If your company is not already entered. it is the moment to complete your data. Otherwise, read how to optimize your company to achieve top positions and update the data.Company / organization
In this field you must enter the actual name of your company. As we shall see in the next section, Google gives much importance to this field when measuring which site will be first on the GP´s results page.
Here you must enter the street and number where your business is located . If the street name is complex, I recommend you use Google Maps in order to see how Google has it indexed in the system. Will save you time and headaches.
Although you have already entered it to verify the presence or not of your company, you have the possibility to enter more phones by clicking on the link: "Add more phone numbers".
In this field it is not obligatory to register the e-mail of your Google Account. You can enter the email of your company or even a Hotmail's email. This field is not mandatory, so I suggest you to fill it only if you want to receive emails. If you are seeking to enhance your web site, do not complete this field.
If your company does not have a website you may tick the checkbox " I do not have a web site ". Otherwise enter your web site with " http: // www " inclusive.
GP currently allows up to 200 characters, so when you write about your company try to be efficient and specific. Describe your business using key phrases that best identify your services or products. Try to relate them to the following field that we will analyze: the Categories. This is another area that has weight at the time of ranking in GP.
Currently you can choose up to 5 categories for your business. I recommend that you complete the five, since each will further enhance your business online. This is another factor that carries weight when included in the Google's first places. Take this opportunity!
Service areas and location settings - Hours of operations - Payment Options
Complete these fields with the information you consider necessary. Nowadays, they are not considered to be important factors when positioning your company in the first positions.
Try to load as first image your logo or the front of your business. If your company is a street trade, it is extremely important to show the facade the most professional possible. In FJ we always recommend to hire a Professional Photographer, as this will give the seriousness your company needs. Remember that in Internet, people is reached by the eyes! Therefore, do not show images of poor quality, because that is what will convey to visitors. Be professional in everything, specially in the small details.
1.5 - Verification
Once all the details of your company are completed, you should proceed to verify their ownership. For this, GP offers two possibilities: By phone
As soon as we confirm that we will verify by phone, almost instantly it begins to ring. It will show the PIN twice and then the communication will be cut, so be prepared to take note.
By postcard (2-3 weeks)
This option is least used since it takes a long time. After 4 or 5 weeks a letter will come to your company inside a Google envelope, with the PIN required to activate the service.
1.6 – Enter the PIN
Regardless of the form used and already with the PIN in hand (5 digits number), it is time to join GP to finish the registration process: Once entered you must click the “Go” button "Go" and if you have entered the correct number you already have your company in GP. Congratulations!
What can I do to be in the first positions of Google Places's results (GP)?
Once your company is registered and verified, you should wait a few hours so that it begins to appear on Google Maps. To achieve the first position certain factors should be considered . You´ve done the main thing: to appear!
Below I will detail the most important factors to appear in the Google Places's first position:
Physical address respecting the city centre
In the beginnings of GP, this was the most important factor. By this, it is understood how close is the physical address of your company regarding the Centre that Google has set for your city. It may or may not correspond to the commercial centre . To verify the Centre Google has set up for your town, go to Google Maps and just type the name of your city. Immediately you will be redirected to the very same centre.
Is it currently the most important factor? Some experts say yes, others say no. We have gone further to clear any doubts and have decided to run an experiment on Google Maps Argentina. We did this; 8 weeks ago we entered our old website (www.fjwebsites.com) in the centre of San Carlos de Bariloche to analyze whether this impacted on the results: See results online
What was the result? In 3 weeks we reached the first position in Google with the phrase "diseño web bariloche" (web design bariloche) and "diseño web en bariloche" (web design in bariloche) as well: After this experience, we consider that now is a very important factor unless Google makes a modification in the search algorithm . Why? Because this resulted in a "falsification" of data by business owners and colleagues (the experiment we have done with FJ Websites is a clear evidence of it). If being near the city centre is one of the most important factors … then I enter my address in the centre that Google set for my city and I'm the first: I do not want people interested in my address, but I want they do click on my website!
The categories are extremely important to reach the top positions in Google, so this choice should not be taken lightly.
Select those that most resemble their products or services, do not rush, take your time. Do searches in Google Maps or Google to analyze what sites are appearing today. In the first positions. Investigate!
Google is giving more importance to the selection you make of them. Take this into account!
Key phrases in the Description
The key phrases relevant to your business MUST be present in the description of your business. You have 200 characters, take advantage of them without incurring a penalty. What am I trying to transmit by this? Do not overload the description with key phrases, nor repeat all the categories you have selected since Google might penalize you.
Use your imagination to subtly mention your most important keyword phrases for your site, as well as the categories previously selected.
Key phrases in the title of your company
Though Google recommends not to alter this field, entering your principal keyword phrase within the title or name of your company, you will be promoting your chances to appear in the prime positions. At the same time you will be helping your customers to find what they want more easily.
What do I mean by this? If for example your company is a Beauty Salon in Miami named Jenny Beauty Salon, I would suggest you do not enter "Jenny Beauty Salon" as the name of your business in GP, but change it to: "Jenny Beauty Salon Miami" or "Jeanny Miami Beauty Salon. "
Making this small change in your name, you will have more weight in Google when someone searches for a Miami beauty salon, while it easier to read / search for potential visitors, because they'll know that you are a Beauty Salon, which is in the city of Miami.
Important: Do not force your name, just do subtle changes to make the search easier. Optimizing your business tag having your customers in mind , you will have no problems. If you abuse or force things too much, Google will pop in to penalize you.
Attach photos to your profile
Factor discussed among experts, is thought to help achieve a better position if you load the maximum amount allowed (10), while working on providing more information to the visitors entering your company's tab. Use it as a way to display your products or services, your logo, a photo of your office or façade.
Broadly speaking , these are the factors that most influence when it comes to position in Google Places (GP).
Is there more?
Yes , but not as important as these. Optimize your company's tab for these factors and if any doubt , write to us on Facebook or FJ Solutions Blog.
Do these factors work forever?
No, Google is constantly changing, mutating, adapting and evolving, so in FJ we work every day to keep up so that your company is not relegated to the past.
We invite you to take the 15 minutes necessary and register your company bearing in mind all factors that influence the results. After this process, share with us your experience in our Blog or Facebook.