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Google Places combined with SEO can help your business

Until recently, having an organic website rank in Google results with mapping was an easy feat if you knew what you were doing. The market, however, has become flooded with spammers. Google has once again stepped in, cleaning up mapping with actual premises; phone activation codes that verify a business’s actual location. Enter, Google Places.

The fact is, one can gain incredibly high rankings on Google by using Google Places (maps). Below is an example of maps that I personally built for two business clients.

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Here you can see that the first company ranks 3rd and the second company ranks 4th in an organic keyword search on Google.co.za. The keywords which both businesses were recognised for are “Cape Town car hire” and have given the companies impressive search rankings. However, it is the combination of SEO and Google Places which is giving them the massive rankings boost.

How does one create organic rankings by using mapping? The most effective ways are by being honest about the service you are offering, by encouraging real reviews, and by combining your SEO organic strategy with Google Maps.

Here are some pointers: there are many things on Google Places which can help you to appear on page one.

  • Firstly, use searchable keywords in your company’s name whilst including your brand’s name. Avoid over doing things and always include a listing or description.
  • Secondly, use the correct categories and make sure that they’ll be helpful to the searcher.
  • Thirdly, reviews and testimonials from your customers are absolutely priceless, especially if they have your keyword in them.
  • Your fourth step is to get these reviews posted on as many sites as possible, such as Qype. Lastly, always cross-link your website to your Google Places listing and vice versa.

The advantages for most businesses when it comes to using Google Places are endless. For one, your telephone number, address, description, reviews are clearly visible. This offers you a huge advantage over other organic results in Google’s listings, as the user no longer needs to navigate to your website to find contact information. Google is allowing regional businesses to gain advantage over rankings. Why? Because business done directly via regions is healthy for search marketing. Promoting actual brick-and-mortar businesses as apposed to online portal sites is essential. Below is an example:

Google Places has thus changed the way SEO works; creating a new playing field, going further than the required basics of a business website. Make sure that your business is located on Google places, and that you use the positive feedback from your clients to your advantage. By combining search and PR as a profit bearing strategy, your business will reap the rewards. Once again this is proof that SEO is becoming more and more specialised.

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