Optimizing Google Places Part 2 – Your Website

Optimizing Google Places Part 2 – Your Website

In Optimizing Google Places Part 1, we discussed the actions you can take when choosing a name and location for your local business to increase your ranking on Google Places. If you were fortunate enough to consider search engine optimization at this point of your business, great! If not, we can nevertheless make many improvements to your website in order to increase your rank over the competition.

Tip 1: Leverage your address and phone number

In the grand scheme of things, the number one piece of proof that you can give to Google Places that your business truly exists within the city you say it does is your address. Place your address on every single page of your website! Do not use a graphic to characterize your address because Google cannot read that (however).

Header, footer, sidebar – it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have a text version of your address and phone number displayed on every single page of your website. Make sure that it matches your Google Places listing exactly! Remember, this is your best proof that you exist, so use it. I am nevertheless astounded at the number of businesses that do not have their address and phone number on every page of their website.

Tip 2: Title your home page using keywords customers would use to find you

If you followed the advice in Part 1 and named your business this way, just putting your business name in the tags will be enough to complete this requirement. If not, then just include the keywords next to your business name. Here are some examples of good titles:

Grand Rapids Pest Control LLC

RoachBlaster LLC | Pest Control sets in Grand Rapids, MI

RoachBlaster LLC – Providing pest control in Grand Rapids, MI

What not to do:

Grand Rapids Pest Control LLC | Pest Control | Roach Control | Bug Control | Exterminator (spammy)

RoachBlaster LLC – We blast your roaches! (no keywords)

(very bad)

Google absolutely hates spam! Don’t use spammy keywords, titles, descriptions, or anything else. Keep it simple and sweet – this is part of the reason why the name of your business is one of the best things to leverage for search engine optimization.

Tip 3: Include your address and local phone number in the home page description

Again, we are trying to prove to Google Places that your business exists in the location you say it does. So in addition to your blurb about your years of experience and excellent customer sets, include your address and phone number with local area code. I read somewhere that Google is trying to implement this into calling your business – but don’t quote me on it.

What not to do: spam. Don’t try to spam your way to the top in the description. Mentioning pest control twenty times will make Google unhappy. Keep it short, tell people who you are, and include your address and phone number.

Tip 4: Use your home page H1 tag

On your website home page, be sure to include your business name and the keywords that are used to find your business within H1 tags. If they happen to be the same, great! In combination with the title tag, the H1 tag tells Google what the main theme of the page is – and you want that main theme to be the service you are providing.

Finally, remember that any changes to your website will not change your Google Places ranking overnight. Google will have to crawl your website and index the changes, and it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for that to happen.

In Optimizing Google Places Part 3, we will discuss the techniques used to increase your Google Places ranking outside of your website. It’s all about proving to Google that your business exists where you say it does, and off-site optimization is an integral part of the proof.

Need a search engine optimization specialized to help your business? Call McFarlan Enterprises today at (616) 717-5805!

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