Friday, December 21, 2012

Amazing Space - Local Grace

by David L. Brown
Logion Web Design

One of the most important locations to be in for your business is just where you are - if you have a physical address - a "bricks and mortar" business - or at least an address that receives mail. This "amazing space" - your physical business address - gets some "local grace" with the free Google Places and Maps listing. However, to be at the top of this Places section is the challenge, and where SEO (search engine optimization) needs to be deployed. Out of the 10 million searches done every month, 20% are using local space from desktops and up to 50% from mobile devices. This is expected to increase.

At the top of many Google search result pages there is a section - below the paid ads which many people skip over - titled "Places". Occasionally there are web sites that are placed above these that are not ads....and that is the best placement for an organic listing. Here's a screenshot example of a client web site listing that shows above the Google Places.
More on this below.

Your Google Places free listing may or may not show up at the top of page one the Google search results page. However if it does, it may generate much more traffic to your web site than the regular listing shown below the Google Places section. Usually, it needs to have professional SEO services to rank high and compete with other web sites in the same search result.

In a "normal" Google Places display on a search result page you will see a similar placement:


Paid ads at the top, shown with a background color, then the top Google Places listing. This is another client that we have achieved top ranking for their main keyword phrase, and even above a national site. National sites have a disadvantage if they do not have a local address. PO boxes do not count, not do UPS store addresses. Google cancels those when they find out.

Optimizing a Local Listing

There are a number of methods to optimize a local listing. In fact, there are too many to list here and they are all a part of an SEO campaign that is targeted to help both the web site, Google Places, and a Facebook page if needed. One of important strategies is to be listed on as many free directory web sites as possible that allow a link back to your web site and a display of your local address. There are also paid directory listings and in some cases the link juice is worth the value of the listing. Google picks up on some of these and gives some "local listing" credit with their algorithms that calculate page ranking. The following is a list of some of the directory sites that will help optimize your local listing.

Insiderpages.com - It's becoming more common to see references from insiderpages in Google search result pages, so get a free listing here. Other sites to check out are the following:

David Brown is the owner of Logion Web Design and Development. Since 1999, Logion Web Design has evolved into a boutique of integrated solutions ranging from web site design and development, Internet and Facebook marketing, copy writing, blogs, news releases, and staying strong with customer support. Our advanced services include programming in Adobe Cold Fusion for Content Management and E-commerce web sites, advanced Facebook marketing, page development, and ad campaigns. We have experience in developing marketing plans, managing email programs, SEO or search engine optimization including top of Google page rankings in Portland, Salem, and Eugene for certain keywords. We also engage in market and competitor research, Twitter marketing, Google webmaster tools, Google Places, and current trends. Our recent upgrade to the Adobe Creative Cloud shows our commitment to use the latest cutting edge web design and development software for our clients. Creativity and inspiration are the cornerstones of our business.  While based in Eugene, Or, our target markets are Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Eugene, Salem, and Nationwide. > Facebook page