If you have a physical business location then you absolutely must have a Google Places page. Why? Because 97% of consumers search for local businesses online and 73% of all online search activity is directly related to local content. And when you have a Google Places page you are more likely to be found online by your ideal client – which is most likely a local client. If you’re a caterer, florist, wedding planner or whatever, your client is likely in your own backyard. So it just makes sense to be where they can find you.
Fortunately, this is one that you can you take care of really simply. Just go to this link and sign up –
And it’s free. All you need to do is add your business information, some pictures, videos if you have them, and you’re set for a while.
Google will still need to verify your listing, so they’re going to mail you a verification code via postcard. As soon as you get this you will need to log in to your account and enter the verification code. Your information won’t show up online until you do this, so make for sure you do this as soon as you receive it. After you enter the code it may take a few days for the listing to appear.
There’s a phrase that you might hear from your SEO guy called the Seven Pack or the First Seven. That refers to the seven businesses that are listed on the Google Map Results for each key search term, like “Nashville Wedding Planner” and it lists like this:
These are always on the front page of search results so businesses work really hard to get one of these spaces!
Here’s what you can do to help your business appear in the First Seven:
1.) Fill out all of the questions 100% completely and accurately. And when I say accurately I really mean it! If your address is listed differently somewhere else online this will negatively affect your rankings. Google will actually crawl other sites, like Yelp and a variety of other information sites, so they’re going to catch the differences. Be very accurate about even the little things, like if you have spelled the word Street out completely or you have abbreviated it as ST.
2.) And the same goes for your phone number! Consistency is key here so go ahead and clean up the rest of your online listings and make for sure they’re all accurate. Phone number is much more important than you might imagine. It even needs to be listed clearly on your website.
3.) Don’t be afraid to add a ton of pictures and details about your business. The more extensive your content, the more prominently you will appear in organic rankings.
4.) Do not try to game the system by adding a bunch of keywords or multiple variations of the same keywords (known as keyword stuffing). Their algorithm is designed to detect nonsense, so make the words you type on here logical and consistent with your business and you should be fine. Learn more about Google’s algorithm here.
5.) Have a Google review. In fact, have lots of Google reviews! Those that have the most reviews are more likely to be listed on the First Seven.
6.) Do not use a PO Box as an address. It’s not allowed, so you will need to use your actual address.
7.) Do not add more than one listing per business. Not only will this not help you at all, but it’s a violation of Google’s terms and can get you removed. If for some reason you end up with more than one, merge all of your correct info to one listing and delete the other listing.
8.) You need to list your business name exactly as you would use it in the real world, not with catchy little titles or web addresses.
A lot of wedding pros that we work with give a bit of a groan when we start to explain the importance of using Google Places for their business, because they feel like it’s just another thing that they have to keep up with. And I can completely sympathize. But your Google Places page is one of those things that needs to be a PRIORITY! Google controls so many of the elements of if you will even show up in search results when someone searches for you and it can not be overlooked. So take an hour and set up your Google Places page today. You’re already online reading this so go ahead and just do it right now.
Have questions about using Google Places? We’d love to help. Let us know in the comments section below.