Amazing news: I actually spoke with a human being from Google. Anyone that has used Google Places has probably been frustrated by the lack of customer support features available there. I doubt these features are coming to Google Places anytime soon. The representative I spoke with was actually a sales guy wanting to sell me on Google Boost. But it was still nice to hear from a human being from the search engine giant. I also learned some valuable information about what Google views as a good places page.
100% Info on your Places Page
This was not new to me, but the Google representative confirmed that having all of the available fields filled out will help you rank higher, especially in competitive markets. Set up a company email address if you don’t have one already and utilize the additional info section to showcase your specialties. The more information that Google can see the more legitimate you are.
Google Places Pictures
Again, I knew that Pictures were a ranking factor but what surprised me was the amount. I was thinking a logo would do, but Google likes to see 10 or more pictures on your page. If you’re a business owner this means get out a camera and start taking pictures of your business. Give your customers an idea of what to expect when they come in. Taking pictures of your business from the outside could help them find you as well. Take pictures of the products you offer or showcase some of your best work if you are a service oriented business.
Google Places Videos
You can upload up to five videos, but the ideal is a minimum of three videos on your places page. If you don’t have a huge advertising budget you may be wondering what kind of videos you are going to upload, but the type of video doesn’t matter. Get creative. Upload video testimonials or create a slideshow with all those extra pictures you took when you got carried away trying to meet Google’s 10 photo standard.
One new review every month is what will let Google know that your business is still relevant. Getting more reviews should be one of your main objectives in your marketing, but don’t let Google see a huge influx of reviews that doesn’t carry any momentum. Make sure they keep coming as long as you are in business.
If you haven’t noticed it yet, there is a tab at the top of your Google Places dashboard that lets you create coupons. Not only is it attractive to customers to see a coupon next to your Google Places listing, it is attractive to Google’s algorithm. The deal doesn’t have to be anything big, just something to get people’s attention and get them in the door.
So these tips aren’t going to help you game the algorithm or anything, but the insight into Google’s ideal places page does help us create a strong page that will rank well and look attractive to potential customers.