Google Business Listing | Google Places Optimization

Local listings are a great way to gain additional visibility.  Google has recently been talking a lot about tailoring their search results to the individual user, and part of this comes in the form of local listings.  If you have a business, you should get a Google business listing on Google Places.  It does not take long, and the benefit is qualified, local traffic from people searching for you.

The great thing about Google Places local listings is their placement in the search results.  When they do show up, they are right there at the top.  They are shown based on the location of the searcher, so if you offer local services, getting listed and then doing a bit of Google Places optimization could give you added visibility and targeted traffic.

For basic Google Places optimization, you want to go through and include information that will allow people to find you.  Optimize your business’s title.  It should be the name of your business, along with your general location (city, county, area, etc.).  Include keywords that you would want to rank for normally in your places page description; don’t keyword stuff though!  Choose the right categories for your site.  You can choose more than one category, but don’t choose a category that is not relevant.  Finally, be sure to complete you entire Places page, incomplete pages tend to not do as well as fully complete pages.

For Google’s local listings, you can follow this link:

http://tinyurl.com/ygwxjto

It will take you to a local listing page with step by step instructions on how to set your Google Places account up.  You can enter contact information, web site URL, hours of operation and more.  If you have not done this yet, take a few minutes and do it now.  Having a Google business listing is better than a yellow page ad.  Think about it, when was the last time you used the yellow pages?  Chances are you simply did a web search for what you were trying to find.

There are many other local listing type sites and services out there, and with the momentum for localized search growing, getting listed in as many places as possible is never a bad idea.  At the very least, we suggest getting listed with Yahoo as well as being in Google Places.

Yahoo’s local listing is pretty similar, except they do not require a phone verification, only a 3-5 day review period to accept your listing.  You can get on Yahoo’s local listings here:

http://tinyurl.com/ybj7e6j

Take the 20 minutes and get a couple of local listings today.  If you would like to have it done for you, check out our low cost local listing done for you service:

http://www.seotacklebox.com/diy-seo/local-business-listings

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Meta Tags For SEO

Meta tags are often overlooked in SEO.  This is a mistake, and an easily correctable one.  Each page should have at least two meta tags for SEO purposes, the title meta tag and the description meta tag.

The title meta tag is very important.  It is what will display as the title of your site in the search engine rankings.  This is what people will browse as they look at what site they want to click on.  It helps with your SEO as well (especially if it contains your target keyword phrase), but more importantly this is your first opportunity to capture your potential internet visitors’ attention.

This tag should be typed with the first letter of each word capitalized.  Use the same rules as you would if you were to write the title of a book.  Keep this tag at or below 66 characters (which includes spaces and punctuation), otherwise Google will truncate your title in the results.

If you have a site ranking well in the search engines, but not getting traffic, this is also a fix that can be applied.  With a little adjustment and tracking, you can get a higher click through percentage – which can be just as good as or better than improving your rankings.

The second important tag is the description tag.  This will dictate what the short blurb under your title in the search results says.  This is your online billboard, advertising your site.  It should work in conjunction with your title meta tag, and should entice your target audience to click through to your site.  The limit for this tag should be 155 characters.

These tags should be in the head section of your site, here is how they would be formatted:

<head>

<meta name = “title” content = “Your Title Goes Here.”>

<meta name = “description” content = “Your description goes here.”>

</head>

Effective use of these two meta tags can make a large difference in click through ratios.  In addition, using your keyword phrase in these two meta tags is helpful for SEO purposes, as Google knows that what is contained within these two fields is important, and describes (or should describe) your site.

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