Optimizing Your Google Places Listing

October 26, 2010

When someone looks for a chiropractor, they usually type "chiropractors in Phoenix" or "chiropractor in Seattle".

The first 7 results will be business listings from Google Places and if your business isn't one of the top 7 businesses, you're missing out on 30-40% of the market!

Have you claimed your Google Places listing? Have you optimized it?

Step one: claiming your listing

Go to http://maps.google.com and type in the name of your business. If your listing comes up, click "more info" and then click "business owner?". You'll be guided through a process of claiming your business and entering additional information.

1. Fill your profile with as much valuable information as possible and focus on telling a clear story about your business. List your qualifications and then focus on explaining how you can help. Use clear, simple language and lots of concise linguistic imagery (send me an email and I'll help you write it- Rod@ChiroHosting.com).

2. Sprinkle in keywords like "chiropractic", "chiropractor", chiropractor in _____", "sciatica", "auto injury", etc. Don't use too many keywords or you'll be penalized for spamming. I usually recommend a 7-10% keyword density.

3. Add a picture of your clinic, Google gives more credibility to listings that include an image.

4. Add a brief (2-3 min) introductory video. Tell the patients who you are and what you do.

5. After you've finished entering your business information, Google will call you at the number you listed to confirm that you're the business owner. When they call, they'll give you a 3-4 number PIN, which you'll need to enter online. Your listing will be activated after you enter that PIN number.

Step two: optimizing your listing

Now that your listing is online, you'll need to optimize it. More pointers...

1. A positive review is invaluable and you need to collect as many as possible. Offer your patients a free movie ticket or a $5 gift card in exchange for writing an honest review about your clinic. Some seedy chiropractics cheat the system by writing positive reviews for each other or by paying people to write positive reviews of their clinic. Seedy techniques will eventually backfire and get your website removed from Google. Ethical business practices will pay off in the long-term.

2. Periodically update your listing with new information and content. Google loves content and Google Places is no different.

3. Feed your website with new, original content. Your Google Places listing will typically rank better if you have a high quality website with lots of up-to-date information.