DAYTON, Ohio Jan. 20, 2011
Chicago Sacramento Google Business Listings
So what does this mean for local business owners?
Tim Adams LocalMarketingProfitFaucet.com
"This change is having an immediate and positive impact on the local businesses shown in these Page 1 listings," says Adams. "The Internet-savvy business owners who understand how to take advantage of this are generating new customers for next-to-nothing. Meanwhile, a surprising number are still oblivious to the significance of this change. In fact, Google has revealed that only a tiny percentage of local businesses have even claimed their Google Places listing, let alone optimize it."
Experts agree that Google is maintaining many of the same points of emphasis with their Places directory as with regular websites. "From our experience," Adams continues, "Google has always given preferential treatment to unique, multimedia content that is kept fresh and up to date. And of course, stay away from any black hat tactics that try to game the system. Google always catches up to these shenanigans. When they do, your listing could be banned with no warning and no second chances."
One of the biggest perks for local businesses is how this has leveled the playing field for those competing against larger, nationally funded budgets. Adams tells an interesting story about how "one small diner is outranking a nearby chain competitor because they’re using Google Places the right way. And this little restaurant doesn’t even have a website!"
Some of the best news with these changes is that getting ranked with Google Places doesn’t require advanced computer or technical skills. It’s just a matter of knowing what Google likes in a listing.
Adams reassures small business owners when he says, "It’s fairly easy to get ranked on Page 1 in most markets because the competition is still weak." He goes on to add, "However, it’s not necessarily simple as there’s a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross to make sure you do it just right and get the extra ‘Google love’ that will give you an advantage."
The importance of online marketing continues to grow as more and more customers use Google to find which company will get their business. The Kelsey Group has told us "97% of all consumers use the Internet to research products and services in their local area." And Google has previously shared that a whopping 90% of searchers never scroll past the first page of results.
What is Adams predicting for the future with local search results and Google Places?
Tim Adams [email protected]