How to rank for Google Places and the new Organic Google Results

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How to rank for Google Places and the new Organic Google Results


Estate Agents, following on from last week’s article on the new Google places results page I thought it would be best to go through how to improve your Google Places rankings.

For the Organic Search, Google still primarily uses generally SEO for its algorithm although has extended it’s algorithm to include the Google Places algorithm to it. From what we understand it’s still only a small part of the algorithm but is still an important part for local search.

Organic SEO

So let’s start at the beginning and point out what the primary Organic SEO strategies are and how they will benefit you in the rankings. This influences all types of search, video, image, local and of course the organic results.

  • Social – the social part of SEO obviously revolves around Twitter, Facebook and other Blogs. At this time this won’t have a huge effect on your SEO or Google Places but all the Search Engines have invested a lot of money into integrating this with search. Meaning it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a higher authority in Google’s Algorithm.
    Why Google sees this as an important factor? Google is all about the users, trying to provide the best information for the search. Social networking is all about the recommendations of people (e.g. Twitter – people retweeting articles and comments, Facebook – people becoming fans of business they like). Making it more and more important for Estate Agents to socialise with their community!
  • Keyword Research and Targeting – this is obviously a very important bit of the research stage. Optimising for the wrong keywords can cause a lot of damage to your incoming traffic, which in turn could make your sales drop. You could be position one on Google for all your chosen search terms but if no one searches for those keywords, no one will click on them.
  • Accessibility and Content – How easy is it to navigate around your website? Can you get to every page from the homepage? If the answer is no then Google will know about it. Accessibility for the user is one of Google top priorities in a website and if you aren’t providing this to your users your rankings will suffer.
    Content obviously goes hand in hand with this, if your website isn’t providing good, original, interesting content, the user experience will be poor and Google won’t rank you as well.
  • Links – another very important factor in SEO. This helps Google determine who is trustworthy and who isn’t. Obviously other factors help Google determine if your website is trustworthy but this is a key factor.
    It’s sort of like a popularity contest, the more websites that link to you the more popular you become (or in Google case the higher your ranking will be). If a website with high authority links to you, your popularity will shot up. High authority sites obviously carry a lot more weight then low authority sites. Its not necessarily just about getting thousands upon thousands of links, few high authority websites that are relevant to your website will carries so much more weight then thousands of low authority websites that aren’t relevant to your website. So remember its quality over quantity.   

Local Search

Lets turn it back to local search then, all the above has an effect on Google Places results but here are a few things you can do to get your Google Places page noticed and ranked up.

  • Sign up - First of all you obviously need to sign up to Google Places. If you have more then one office make sure you set up different accounts for each office.
    Here at Resource Techniques we already sign you up but for verification reasons we do need a pin number which Google will provide to you.
  • The Title – Needs to be your business title followed by the business category (e.g. Briggs and Mortimer Estate and Letting Agents).
  • Add the correct address – This is important to show Google where your Estate Agency office is located. If your office is not located in the area you are trying to optimise for it will know and you won’t be able to optimise on Google Places for that area.
  • Categories – Google give you the options to submit your business categories. You have three or four slots for this. This will most likely be “Estate Agency”, “Letting Agency” or both.

All the above is already done by our team here at Resource Techniques (you may want to check the address and telephone number in case you have moved or it’s been changed).

What you will need to do.

  • Description - Provide an informative description of your business, including keywords (a description will have been done already but you may want to change it or edit it).
  • Adding Images – adding images of your office and the area can boost up your rankings.
  • Social – Again keep on top of your social networking. It is likely to be a important factor in the future.
  • User Reviews – get your customers to write reviews on your Google Places page. This isn’t only for the search engines but it can have a great effect on the users clicking onto your website to see more about your business. This is a great way to gain more traffic.

By Luke Stanley
SEO Consultant