• Eivind Otnes

    Such a simple measure to take for any local business and yet so powerful!

    Even though it is so obvious and simple for marketers, it is just unfortunate that a lot of local businesses find this complicated/ confusing getting their Google+ page up and running.

  • http://houstontexasseo.com/ Paul Sherland

    These are excellent tips Jason! A couple of comments though. (1) Your business name, address, and phone number should be consistent everywhere online, but Google’s Joel Headley told us at Local University Advanced that Google can accommodate the standard postal spelling variations, like suite, ste or #. (2) Mike Blumenthal noted at the recent Dallas Local University that it’s important to select your cover photo to adapt to the different ways that Google might display it. Thanks again Jason!

  • RightTech

    Could you expand on what you mean about selecting a “cover photo to adapt to the different ways that Google might display it”?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sophietran Sophie Tran

    Thanks for sharing great tips on how to beat competitors in a local search. As a professional in the online brand and reputation management industry, I’d really like to emphasize the significance of tip #4: Soliciting Legitimate Customer Reviews. This is extremely important for businesses because over 90% of customers will search for reviews before giving their money and time over to new business or product. It is also equally important to NOT solicit illegitimate customer reviews because not only is it obviously wrong, Google and other search engines are catching on to tricky, unethical schemes and businesses who are shady will be guaranteed to regret and pay for their actions.

  • http://houstontexasseo.com/ Paul Sherland

    Sure thing — I should have been more specific! Mike recommended sizing the image to 1600 x 900 and accounting for a substantial margin around the photo that might not be displayed in some formats. So you don’t want to design the image to have critical content in those margin areas.

  • http://www.LeadDiscovery.com/ Jerry Nordstrom

    The confusion is because Google has changed their features so many times that small business owners don’t know who from what.

    Google, Gmail, Google Places, Google Local, Google+, Google+ Business pages….Throw Adwords Express on top of this as Google does and It’s little wonder the business owner who registered for one Google service 2 years ago is fully confused about their current situation in local search.

    Google is bringing many of these business listings/features under the G+ umbrella – https://support.google.com/places/?p=coming_soon&hl=en&gl=US#topic=1656739

  • http://www.LeadDiscovery.com/ Jerry Nordstrom

    Sophie I think the “review stat” gets inflated after every social media and Internet Marketing conference. Its usually an agency, book author or cloud service overreaching in their pitch.

    Reviews are clearly important, but they are not equally important across all businesses/verticals. The larger the purchase the more important the review becomes. If you think about it, do you really read through a bunch of reviews 9 out of every times you conduct a transaction in life? Yes, we pick up assurances and other indicators of security, but this does not always mean an “Internet Review”.

    Google, Yelp and others state you can’t “Solicit” reviews. I think I know what you meant, promote clear paths for your customers to review you, but solicit has a precise meaning that may send folks down a risky path.

  • Matt

    Eek…SEL’s editors got lazy with this one.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sophietran Sophie Tran

    Jerry, thank you for sharing your insights and reminding me to think more specifically. You are right that reviews are relatively important based on the size of the purchase. Obviously, bigger-ticket items usually involves more investments in time, research (aka reading reviews), etc. while smaller-ticket items (like a snack or drink) would most likely require less time and research commitment. However, newly introduced small-ticket items and medium-sized items would probably receive some decent level of investment of customers’ time and research reading reviews. For example, I spend a lot of time reading online reviews about ionic hair dryers (with a price range of probably $40 – $200.) I also spend a lot of time reading about a new “vitamin drink” although one bottle will probably cost no more than $5, I’m guessing.

    Anyway, I agree with you very much that ‘stats’ are just numbers that can be inflated and placed into contexts that benefit agencies, authors, etc. Also, I’m not sure why the author of this post, Jason Decker, chose the word ‘solicit’ as I also agree that ‘soliciting’ is usually associated with ‘unwanted requests.’

  • SEOview

    Good read w/ basic steps to outrank your competitors! I optimized my google places page with this pretty need tutorial here http://www.sistrix.com/google-places-optimization/ it took me less than one hour and even my wife could get used to it!

  • VoucherPages.ie

    Hi, Could you explain how to add additional categries to page? Thanks

  • http://www.sovainfotech.com/ Sova Infotech

    Thank you so much for sharing the strategies with us. Especially liked the point on Google’s consideration of hours of operation of business. Was not aware of it.

  • http://www.NewEraWebServices.com/ Himanshu Jain

    Thanks Jason to share all these points to kill local competition at Google+ Local.

    I really like your point that saying “Solicit Legitimate Customer Reviews”. I really appreciate this point as I used to this and got penalized. Lol :)

  • http://www.krishinc.com/ Krish Inc

    Well, apparently these steps are really easy, but Google has confused its customers so much with so many products in its basket that many small business owners really feel thrown off balance. . Whoah! This is a major lapse on the part of Google. Let’s hope things improve.

  • http://www.virtualityworks.com/ Susan Weeks

    I have shared these tips with my local Women in Business & Enterprise networking group and have used these tips with clients to enhance their local search results – Thanks!

  • http://www.krishinc.com/ Jitendra Padmashali

    Reviews area unit clearly necessary, however they’re not equally necessary across all businesses/verticals. The larger the acquisition the additional necessary the review becomes, many thanks for sharing your insights and reminding Maine to assume additional specifically. {you area unit|you’re} right that reviews are comparatively necessary supported the scale of the acquisition.

  • Localmark.co

    This is very helpful, particularly the part about making your NAP as consistent as possible. When I worked as a journalist, I had an assignment to document all the NAPs of restaurants in my area. I used Google to research every restaurant, but I encountered a problem: the phone numbers of many restaurants were inconsistent! I had to call the numbers to figure out which ones were right and which were wrong. Crazy. Anyway, thanks for this.