How to Get Your Google+ Local Profile to Rank

Written by Nick Stamoulis

For a local business, it is imperative to have a Google+ Local listing (formerly Google Places). For local search, Google displays Google+ Local listings above the fold and before many of the organic search results. This means that even if you’ve implemented an awesome local SEO campaign and have optimized your site for local search, it will probably still be found below the section that is dedicated to Google+ Local listings. Just like you’d want to be at the top of the organic listings, you also want your Google+ Local listing to appear within the top of the section. Here are a few tips to improve the presence of your Google+ Local profile:

Claim the listing
The first step is to claim the listing so that Google knows that it’s in the right hands. This will involve verification either by phone or through the mail with a verification pin code. The verification process can take up to 2-3 weeks so you will need to be patient.

Completely fill out the profile
Be sure to include as much information as possible since complete profiles will be given preference over the ones that only include a few items. Think of it as a mini version of your website. A Google+ Local profile is integrated into Google+ and social media as a whole is becoming a much more visual medium. Add photos of your business to make it “pop”. Make sure that the information that you include is the same across all channels. If you include different information or different website links on your Google+ Page and your Google+ Local page it will cause confusion and the trust factor will go down. Select the most relevant categories for your page.

Optimize as possible
Optimize your Google+ Local profile just as you would your website and include specific keyword phrases in the description naturally.

Improve the trust of your website
Utilizing SEO tactics, improve the trust factor of your actual website. Google+ Local profiles link over to the company website. Websites that are more trusted will be favored.

Submit business information to other local listing sites
If Google sees the same business name, address, and phone number together consistently across the web it is validation that the business does actually exist and confirms the accuracy of the listing.

Get reviews

The more reviews, the better. Reviews determine how useful or helpful a Google+ Local profile listing is to searchers looking for more information. Just remember that they need to be legitimate. Don’t pay people to leave a good review. That will come back to haunt you. Instead, ask happy customers or clients if they wouldn’t mind leaving you a review. Obviously you will want all positive reviews but a few negative reviews won’t decrease the rank of the listing. Take advantage of the opportunity to respond to reviews. Thank people for good reviews and offer to make good on a situation that resulted in a negative review.

Remember, the location of the search based on IP address is also a huge factor. If a competitor is physically located closer to the searcher and has completed a Google+ Local listing, it will appear higher. What it comes down to is relevancy (location), popularity (reviews), and trust (website).

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