08/31/12
10 Top Tips to optimise your Google/Bing local listing

1. Make sure that you have created/claimed your business on Google Places

Picture1 10 Top Tips to optimise your Google/Bing local listing

This may seem like a no-brainer, but its importance is more than meets the eye. As well as a places listing giving your customers a push in the right direction on your whereabouts, it also helps with your rank in local searches too. Google emphasises it’s places listings in local searches and are often located at the top of the search page, which is the first place people look.

When it comes to Bing, creating a listing is a bit more complicated, but still relatively easy. Go to ‘http://marketlocation.my118information.co.uk/home.aspxand click on ‘Get started’ you will have to search for your business before you can create your own, just to check you aren’t adding a duplicate listing. They should then tell you that they will call you within one working day to confirm your listing, and there you have it! For Google Places go to http://www.google.com/places and click ‘Get started now’ to create your listing. To claim your business, find its Google places listing and click ‘Manage this page’. When you have done either of these options, you will then have to verify your business location by receiving a verification code that will be sent to your business address.

2. Ensure all information about your business is complete

A completed listing is a valuable one. Google and Bing will use the listings that have the most information about their company on the front page. By completing your information, not only are you helping your customers know more about your businesses, but you are also helping to boost your listing to that coveted first page spot.

3. Create a keyword rich description

When completing your information, you should make sure to include a lot of keywords that you want your business to be associated with in your business description. Be reasonably subtle though – Google often blacklists businesses that they think are trying to play the search engine systems. Ensure to lace your desired keywords into your description smoothly and accurately and you’re well on your way.

4. Make sure not to use any keywords in your business name

If ‘web design’ or ‘garden services’ is not part of your business name do not include it in your business name on your places listing. The genius’ at Google and Bing are always looking out for people trying to play their system, for example, if we put LandingNet Website Design instead of LandingNet Ltd Google may actually push our listing down in relevancy or even blacklist it.

5. Add images and videos to your listing

Adding geo-tagged and alt-tagged images and videos to your listing increases the way that potential customers reach your listing. The images appear on Google and Bing image search and to upload videos, you need to upload them to YouTube. This means when users search for your field of work, not only will they see your places listing at the top, they will also see your videos (which appears at the top) and your images (which also appears on the top!)

6. Make regular updates and changes to your listing

Treat your listing as you would your website, keep the content fresh. This will certainly boost your rankings within Google and Bing, and will also keep your customers happy too. Some ideas are adding images, videos and even just updating your description. Active listings are greatly beneficial to Google as it shows a more legitimate business.

7. Check your listings analytics page regularly (Google Place Listings only)

Your analytics hold the key information to how your customers and potential customers find your listing. Finding out the queries that lead your customers to your listing will help you lace in the right keywords for your description, and optimise it even further.

8. Ensure you have no duplicate listings

Duplicate listings can really effect where your original listing ranks. Deleting old or unused duplicates of your listing will greatly enhance how legitimate your business listing appears to Google, and duplicates can be a huge liability and even get your original (along with the duplicates) blacklisted. On Bing, however, it does not allow you create duplicate listings, so they’ve already covered your back with this one!

9. Get your business listed in suitable online business directories

Getting your business listed in business directories can greatly boost your places listing. Pages such as www.yellowpages.co.uk, your cities chamber of commerce etc, are highly viewed by Google and Bing and will help make your business come across more legitimate, and will heighten your rank. It is also another portal for prospective customers to reach you from.

10. Encourage your customers to leave feedback on your listing

Feedback can make or break a business, and good feedback will greatly boost your listings rank. Google’s policy states that you are not to give your customers reasons to leave you a positive comment, but if they think you’ve genuinely done a good job, then they should be willing to help and leave you a review.  The process is a little different with Bing, to allow your customers to leave reviews about your business, you are required to add your listing to websites such as www.yelp.com and www.citysearch.com and the reviews from these listings will be integrated into your businesses Bing local listing.