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Google Places: Helping Your SEO


In October 2010 ‘map-based’ results started to impact the organic listings directly.  Google have stated that more than 20 percent of search terms have a location specified in them.

(e.g. “Employment Agency Lincoln“, “Solicitors Lincoln“).  This means that the Google Places integration is affecting a large number of search terms.  In most cases now you’ll see the search results with the map appearing to the right amongst the AdWords and the Places information being included in the organic results, below the website description.

This is not affecting all search terms at the moment.  The two examples above have been affected however a search term that’s close to our heart hasn’t (“Web Design Lincoln“).  Also, in some cases we’re still seeing the old style where all the Places results are showing together and 10 organic results appearing below (e.g. “Tool Hire Lincoln“).

Spiral Media’s Recommendation:  Get a Google Places Page!

We want to give you a quick insight into how you can help improve your organic listing with Google Places by outlining how to set one up properly, and some reasons why this is important.  Firstly, here is how to register for Google Places:

  1. Sign up for Google Places
  2. Complete the simple form with all the basic information about your company
  3. Verify your listing (this may be by  SMS, e-mail, or postcard).

For those of you who we have received one of our consultations, you will know that we always talk about focussing your efforts to please 2 audiences; i) Search Engines  ii) Potential Customers.  With Google Places, this is the same.

Optimise the Places Page for Google

This is to enhance your organic listing (based on the impacts outlined above).  The whole point of SEO is to feed the Search Engines enough relevant data and information about your website/business as possible.  If done correctly; the more you give them, the stronger your rank.  You can add images, videos and more detail to your Places page.  From this they can assume that:

a) You’re willing to invest time into getting your messages out

b) You have a lot of resources you can apply to your website.

Why is this extra detail important?  A:  Simply because Google want to give their searchers information, answers, and solutions.  So by initially making the right signals, you’re on your way to getting the right results.

Optimise the Places Page for your potential customers

As you can imagine, it can be very easy to just concentrate on what the Search Engines want and often we see people forgetting about their potential visitors.  We all know that a higher ranking position brings in more visitors, but you need to influence and impact your ‘click-through rate’ once you’re website is listed.  One of the easiest (hence the reason for this article) is by improving your Google Places page.

Within search results, you’ll see the Google Places page below the website description.  Alongside the Places page you can have a picture.  This is something that you can add during the customisation (mentioned above) of your Page to catch your potential customer’s eye and draw them into your site.

We hope you have found this useful, the aim is to get you thinking about how your current business is represented in and amongst your competition.  Try typing in some keywords that your potential customers may type in if they didn’t know your business existed; how do you look?

For more information please give us a call.