Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Google Places Optimization

Google Place Pages OptimizationLocal and mobile search is being used more frequently by customers on their smart phones and other devices now more than ever.  As local search becomes more and more prevalent, marketers must ask themselves what can they do to incorporate this marketing strategy into their arsenal.

According to a recent release by ComScore, nearly 3 billion search queries contain local terms each month.  For companies that have a local presence, top visibility on local search is essential or that traffic will simply go to competitors.  Google Maps is one of the most frequently used local search destinations and even comes standard on many devices including the iPhone.  Google Places provides a great opportunity to begin marketing on a local level to your potential customers.

A best practice approach to local online marketing will greatly increase your chances of success.  The Google Places optimization tips listed below will help you create or modify your Google Places page to become more relevant to both search engines and potential customers.  I’ve also included suggestions on how this .

Consistency Is Key

It is important that your Google Place profile contains the same information as any other profiles your company may have online. Google Place pages create another opportunity to build trust and consistency as part of your marketing strategy. Be sure to audit your other profiles and answer each question as consistently as you can.  There are some additional ways you can create consistency on your profiles such as:

  • Linking: improve searchability by linking your additional profiles together
  • Imagery: utilizing the same imagery on multiple place pages will create consistency
  • Branding: consistency in naming and referencing your brand is extremely important

*Content Marketing Tip: Go back to basics.

  • Are you using the same contact information for each of your social profiles or business pages?
  • Do each of your social profiles or business pages reflect your current management team or employees?

Complete All Information (Even if it is Not Required)

Have you ever heard the expression “better off safe than sorry”?  Take the same approach when setting up or editing your Google Places profile.  There may be questions that you consider irrelevent but could ultimately have an impact on how you are found online.  Make sure that you are filling out all standard information including:

  • Company Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Email Address

Complete All Google My Business Company Information

Adding additional elements to your page such as photos or videos are also an opportunity to optimize your content and share a little bit more about your company with your prospective clients.

Google Places Video and Photos

*Content Marketing Tip: Take an audit of your other local and social based marketing initiatives.

  • Have you completed each profile to the best of your ability?
  • Can you repurpose some of your existing content for your Google Place page?
  • Brand focused images used on other social profiles can be repurposed for your company Google Places page.

Encourage Interaction & Reviews

User generated content can be a very powerful optimization tool.  Actual customers may be using additional or different keywords or phrases to describe their experience with you.  Reviews also add validity to your statements and information written by your company.  Nothing speaks higher of a company than the testimonials of it’s customers.  I would recommend encouraging customers or clients to participate or simply urge them to visit your page and see what they think.  Some additional ways that you could encourage interaction would be:

  • Posting video testimonials on your Google Places page
  • Encourage clients to upload photos of themselves at your establishment or with your team

Example of Google My Business Reviews

*Content Marketing Tip: Moderate, moderate, moderate.

  • Are you currently moderating comments on your blog, website, or social profiles?
  • Are you making a point to interact with your potential customers online?

Local Keywords

Including relevant and purposeful keywords in your Google Place profile is a strategic way to increase optimization.  However, you will want to avoid over stuffing your description with keywords or utilizing keywords in your business name that are not relevant to your offering. Do your research up front utilizing your analytics account to determine what keywords are appropriate for your business.

*Content Marketing Tip: To create an effective strategy you must research, implement, and adapt.

  • Use keywords in your file names to improve optimization
  • Update your information frequently to provide fresh content

Focus on Your Specialties

Do not be afraid to add details about your service offering, solutions, or products that will help your customers find you.  A simple analysis of your google analytics account can tell you what keywords users are searching for to find your company.  Do your best to use those descriptions in your company overview and specialities area.

  • Think of what your customers will be looking for and provide imagery or documentation that will show your expertise.
Example of Google My Business listing

The example included above separates this company from their competition.  I would venture to say that of the companies that came up in my search this for “Tire Repair, Minneapolis” their profile was the most consistent and complete.  Instead of having to further investigate on the company on their website I was given adequate information which would led me to contacting them immediately.

*Content Marketing Tip: People want to know how your solutions solve their problems.

  • When appropriate provide an explanation of the problems that your services, solutions, or products solve.
  • Be aware of what your customers need and tailor your message to meet that need.

An optimized Google Places page is a marketing tactic that does not take a lot of effort but can have a very large impact on your searchability.  As with any online marketing strategy it is important that you present factual and consistent information for your customers or clients.  If you are ready to get started or make some change to your existing profile be sure to visit Google’s Getting Started page which will help you through the process.  Do you have an idea of how many of your customers have found you on Google Places? If so have you encouraged them to interact with your page and share feedback?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1.  very nice !!!

  2. Very informative post. There is one aspect that most forget about when doing local search engine optimization and that is generating an organic placement as well. It seems that everyone is always focused on just the local placement listing and forget about producing the organic placement for a local listing. This can be just as impact-full as well. Not all search queries produce a local placement listing and this organic placement listing can be a great may to battle this issue in the SERP’s.

  3. ok Please tell me, most important google ranking review or backlinks for google page?



  4. Hi Asad,both are important-reviews as well as backlinks.

  5. Very interesting post.All the points are really very well.The focus on your specialties is really very helpful point for us.Nice post.

  6. Very informative post! Reputation management is the key factor in monitoring the reviews on the Google Place page. It’s better to respond to disgruntled customers with a solution to their concern then ignore their complaints. I think business owners can sometimes brush off these customers, but that could be detrimental to their business. 

    • Tina. I could not agree more. I know it’s been talked to death recently but the way that Chapstick handled the reaction to their new ad campaign was horrific. Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others so that we can take a best practices approach to comment moderation. 🙂

  7. In recent days, every company is working towards branding their products or services. A company’s brands and the public’s awareness of them are often used as a factor in evaluating a company. Hence, it is inevitable to get the recognition online through available means. 
    Many thanks @azeckman:disqus for the wonderfully informative post !! 

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  11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes Ashley, thank you for your posts that are impressing me every time I read them.

  12. This development is quite nifty too. It encourages the response and awareness of consumers to what their local establishments has to offer.

  13. Great post! It will be interesting to see a few months down the road how much traffic Google + is referring compared to the usual suspects. We’ll certainly continue to use it as much as possible and experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. 

  14. This post is just awesome, as being a SEO Expert I can say only one single word and that is WOWW … great tips for the Google Local Optimization. Thanks for sharing mate. Looking forward to more informative SEO tips from you.

    Best Wishes from SEO Service Kolkata

  15. Avatar SEO Specialist Philippines says

    Google Places listings are returned for specific location-based keywords.  You need focus your listing’s content on these keywords esp. in the “Categories” section.

    Maximize the “Categories” section in order to hit as many keywords as possible but you have to follow Google Places guidelines.

  16. Avatar Alternate Angles says

    Thank you, Ashley! 🙂

  17. Thanks for the tips, you have mentioned to complete all information even if not required right? But if we do not have something, how should we mention it in information section. For example, if i am submitting google place listing for an online magazine company, it will have no operating time so in this case what should i mention if not leave the box blank?

  18. SEO experts are corrected regularly then the pages of any site will rank
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  19. Thanks for your ideas. The best keywords are those that can trigger sales of your products or services. I appreciate this post. 

  20. Local SEO advertising models are important for the achievements of any business that has an internet business. This is because regional SEO  gives you focused Web traffic. This improves your ROI since you will focusing on people in your vicinity and you are able to focus on your promotion dollars on the most likely customers. Site SEO is important because it improves your position in SERPs or internet serp’s webpages of significant google, significance you get higher ROI.

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  22. nice post and i want to learn it wellllllllllllll. more info needed