In the first part of this series, we covered optimizing the basic information in your Google Places Page listing, underscoring the importance of complete, accurate information. Now, we’ll focus on optimizing your page with reviews, videos, and images.
1) Request Reviews – Google places pages with more quality reviews tend to perform better in local search, because reviews are an important factor in ranking with Place Search. So, a focus on getting positive reviews for your business is an important way to boost your overall search discovery as well as your Google Places SEO.
You can ask happy customers to leave reviews on your Google Places page itself, and your page will pull in reviews from third-party sites review sites like Yelp or CitySearch, or even from the review tab of a ReachCast page. So, asking social fans and followers to leave reviews and putting up a sign or passing out cards to request reviews for your business are best practices that many experts recommend. You can also link to review sites from your website or Cast page to help generate more online reviews for your business.
2) Upload Images – The web is an increasingly visual medium, so showcasing the life of your business through images is an important part of building a successful web presence for your local business. On your Places page, you can upload up to 10 images. The official Places Help center says to stick within these photo specs: 1MB, 1024 x 1024 pixels, and the following file formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP.
If you want your photos to show up in a particular order, make sure the most important photos are highest in size and quality the site will accept, since Google Places will list your images in order of size and quality.
In addition, Google recently announced that in select cities, it will be accepting applications for free 360-degree image photo shoots inside local businesses to showcase on Google Maps. Businesses will also be able to use these professional images on their place pages. You can learn how to apply for business photos from Google Maps on their application and FAQs pages. Here’s a video about the new program:
3) Add Videos – You can upload up to five YouTube videos into your Google Places listing using the “Add Video” section of your account details. First, you need to upload your videos to YouTube, since that’s the only video site Google Places supports. Then, simply copy and paste the video links into the video section and click “Add Video.” A thumbnail of the video will then be displayed on your Places page.
You can upload videos from any account onto your page, but it’s a good idea to stick to videos that are either created by you or are about your specific business, like customer testimonial videos or news clips you’ve been featured in. Not only does adding videos to your Google Places Page help you share more about your business with potential customers, it can help set you apart from the competition as well.
Have you claimed your Google Places Page yet? If not, there’s no time like the present. Once you’ve claimed your listing, make sure to optimize it for search discovery by paying careful attention to the details and covering all the basics. Here are some resources to help you start optimizing!
- Here’s Why You Should Claim Your Google Places Page
- HOW TO: Set Up & Optimize a Google Places Page for Your Local Business
- HOW TO: Optimize Your Google Places Page for SEO & Search Discovery
- HOW TO: Optimize the Details Across Your Local Listings
- Optimizing Google Places: How ReachCast Can Help Reviews
- YouTube Your Local Business: Why Online Video Matters
- Intro to Online Video: 6 Tips for Creating Engaging Video