Picking Your Brain: Tips on Google Local Success From the In-House SME

As a Demandforce customer, you already know that we are in the business of helping our customers thrive in the Internet economy. You also know that Google plays a noted role in small businesses effectively leveraging the Internet to attract, retain, and grow. Although Google is constantly changing the local search game rules, we’ve put together some tips to help you take advantage of the traffic Google will send to your better-optimized Google Places profile.

1. Own Your Local Online Presence

The first key step to establishing a stronger local search presence on Google is to work with us when we call to claim your listing a few weeks after signing-up for Demandforce. As a new Demandforce client, we will claim your Google Places profile if you have not already as a part of your standard subscription fee. Claiming your place page not only allows you to update information about your business (e.g., hours, specialties, promotions, etc.) on Google, but it also gives you opportunities to out-rank competitors by optimizing your business listing for targeted keyword and geographic areas.

2. Keep the Reviews Fresh

The quantity and quality of the reviews is not a guarantee to get you on the 1st page. However, because Google likes fresh content, having a regular stream of reviews flowing to your profile can earn you points. Our communications tool makes it easy for you to collect this feedback from your customers at the right time and share it on Google. A simple way to increase your review response rate is by customizing your Thank You Emails with a friendly, personalized note. Let your customers know why it’s so important that they submit feedback.

3. Optimize Your Business Website

With the most recent update of Google’s Place Search, owning a website that performs fairly well in the organic search arena has become even more important. A well-optimized website will better support your local profile, and integrating your SEO strategies for both organic and local allows you to present a consistent business image on Google. If you don’t already have a business website, your Demandforce reputation page can serve as an immediate solution, providing your customers with the most essential information.

4. Manage Your Information Across the Web

The practice of managing online business information outside of your website and local profile is underutilized, despite the fact that information across the Web directly impacts your Google local presence. With hundreds of national/local directories and search engines showing your business information online, it’s extremely beneficial to proactively manage the content to ensure that your information is presented accurately and consistently across the Web. After submitting your business data to more than 90 online directories for free with Demandforce WebFeed, claiming your directory profiles and regularly monitoring your online presence will allow you to maximize the benefits of disseminating your business information across the Web.

Regular maintenance is required to sustain a revenue-driving Google Places profile, but by following the tips presented in this article, you can help ensure that your business is well represented online. For additional information, I recommend adding local SEO blogs to your regular reading, like the following two popular blogs: http://www.localseoguide.com/ and http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/.

– By Bonnie Wang
Demandforce Services Manager

This blog post will also be published at http://blog.demandforce.com

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