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Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local

From: SEO Fundamentals

Video: Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local

You'll need to list your business on Google+ Local so it can appear in the Google Local search results, and the first step is to visit www.google.com/placesforbusiness. Before you log in, here's a tip. When signing up for Google+ Local, it's a good idea to create separate Google accounts to manage your listings. And this account should really be tied to your corporate domain, something like local@yourdomain.com will keep your business account tied to the business and separate from your personal account. If you and the organization you're working for ever decide to part ways, this separation can save you a lot of headaches later on.

Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local

You'll need to list your business on Google+ Local so it can appear in the Google Local search results, and the first step is to visit www.google.com/placesforbusiness. Before you log in, here's a tip. When signing up for Google+ Local, it's a good idea to create separate Google accounts to manage your listings. And this account should really be tied to your corporate domain, something like local@yourdomain.com will keep your business account tied to the business and separate from your personal account. If you and the organization you're working for ever decide to part ways, this separation can save you a lot of headaches later on.

Once you've logged in for the first time, you'll be prompted to enter your Phone Number, and Google will tell you if it already knows about your business. If it does, it will pre-fill whatever information it's found on the form we'll need to fill out. This is your chance to provide as much information as you possibly can to Google about your business, so you'll want to fill out all the required fields and as many optional ones as you possibly can. You'll start out by entering your company name in the Company/Organization field. It's important that you don't try to add keywords to your company name to get a higher rank.

Remember that consistency across your citations is extremely important to local search rankings, so this can actually hurt you, and it's against the terms of service. Since consistency in your name, address, and phone number is so critical, sometimes it can be helpful to ensure that there's a default that you're using everywhere you can. One trick is to write out the business name, address, and phone number just once in a text file, and then store that text file somewhere that anyone doing this kind of work can access, and when you're updating citations, you can just copy and paste the information from that document.

This will minimize the chances of the information being inconsistent or incorrect. Next, fill in the email address that you want associated with your business and your website. Although these are optional, it's a good idea to use them, and you can take advantage of the 200 character description of your business. You'll want to think about your target keywords, but ultimately, this should be enticing marketing copy that describes what your business does, and why a consumer should choose you over the competition.

The next step is choosing the categories under which you're going to list your business. Category suggestions will appear as you begin typing, and you'll want to choose one of the suggested categories if you can. You can also use the Add another category link to select up to five categories. The Service Areas and Location Settings section asks whether your customers come to you, or you go to your customers. For example, if you're running a coffee shop, chances are your customers are coming to you. Wedding photographers, on the other hand, usually travel out to their clients.

You can also enter your operating Hours and the Payment options that you accept. Generally, you'll want to provide as much information as you can throughout your listing. Remember, potential customers are searching on the go, and if they know for a fact that you're open at a particular time or accept the credit card that they have in their wallet, that might be enough to bring them into your door, instead of your competitors'. Photos and videos are a great way for you to showcase your business to potential customers, and really show them exactly what they'll be getting if they choose to do business with you.

If you're a restaurant, pictures of tempting plates of food, friendly service, and a great atmosphere might win you a new customer. You might even put up a video of your salad bar or a walk around the dining room. Whatever your business, an additional 10 images or 5 videos to your profile can help someone decide whether to come in or stay away. The last piece of the puzzle is the Additional Details field, and this is where you can get creative. If you have anything else to say about your business, this is where you'll put it. And while Google+ Local won't display this section in your listing, it's still worth your while to add as many details about what makes your business unique as you can.

After you've filled out the form, you'll need to verify your business listing before it will go live. Google+ Local will send you a pin verification code, either by mail at your business address, or by a phone, and once you receive your pin, you'll need to enter it into your Google+ Local account to verify that you actually do own the business you've claimed. Once your listing is online, you can always come back to edit it or add photos, videos, or anything else that hasn't already been added to the listing. The more you tell Google about your business, the easier it will be for the search engine to understand what your business is about, and place you appropriately in the search results.

And the more detail you provide in your listing, the better chance you'll have of convincing customers to walk through your doors.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for SEO Fundamentals
SEO Fundamentals

64 video lessons · 45830 viewers

David Booth
Author

 
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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