Google Places Local SEO

Business owners everywhere are experiencing new challenges advertising online with Google Places Maps results pages.  Google recently moved the local map for queries with “local intent” to the right of the search engine results page above the previous 4th place PPC Sponsored Link. This is a welcomed change for local businesses, who now have additional opportunities for exposure for most search queries.

Over the last few years Google has made huge strides in scraping content from the right sites to ensure that it has a complete list of local businesses. As I have said before, Google is the new yellowpages. Google includes listing and business information from many providers, such as, InsiderPages, InfoUSA, the BBB, and other web resources. Google also collects ratings and review information from various different sites. One of my favorites is

The challenge for businesses is getting exposure in the 3-pack, 7-pack, and blended organic listing results on search results pages.

Local SEOs like Dallas local search marketing expert Mike Stewart help small businesses reach additional clients beyond their local area. Showing up in results takes a holistic approach that considers citations, reviews, link building, content strategy, relevancy, and website optimization. This local listing optimization service is never guaranteed, since ultimately Google’s local search ranking algorithm is not public. Search engine optimization experts consider both online and offline factors that impact your business exposure.

Traffic from local listings is the largest source of direct customers for most service and small businesses.

BEWARE of long-term contracts or commitments for longer than a 90-day sprint. Reasonable fees for local listing optimization, the process of manually optimizing and claiming your business information on local search websites, starts  around $199.00 to $499.00 initial month and up to $99.00 per following month for additional citation and content strategies.

Never allow an agency to claim your Google listing without being fully capable of transferring management services to another provider. I sometimes recommend using tracking lines that my clients own permanently for multiple listing strategies and every time for paid ads on local directory or internet yellow pages sites. After listings are optimized you should receive a detailed report of the actions and activities performed by your local Dallas SEO consultant.

If you need help with your local listings, located in Dallas or not, feel free to call me with questions at 214-267-9553.


7 Responses to Google Places Local SEO

  1. Jeremy Siefkas says:

    I would not recommend placing RCF lines in your Google Places listing. Google is trying to collect and streamline the most relevant information possible on your business. RCF lines have actually created the problem with inaccurate listings showing up across the web thus leading to multiple listings that Google has no idea if its correct or incorrect. Read for more detailed info.

  2. Mike Stewart says:

    Very familiar with Mike B’s blog. In most cases our clients use B1 lines that they have had for many years on Google Places.

    When clients have no local listings we can usually put together a strategy that still provides proper conversion tracking through dynamic tracking lines.

    We tend to accept the fact that data aggregators have had the tendency to publish tracking numbers as business numbers. Often creating flawed data and click to call attribution. Our strategy as of late has been to use tracking numbers on micro-sites, paid internet directory listings (so long as the main # receives a free profile or listing) and Google PPC ads.

    For those that want to validate ROI with call tracking, SMBSEO offers the best available solutions on the market.

    Seems to be working well, keeps the data-set clean, and also provides great feedback on what does and doesn’t generate an ROI.

  3. Google recently seems to push multimedia, like YouTube videos, to the front page. It is almost as easy creating a small 1-2 minute video, optimizing the title, and it will appear on the front page within a few days.

  4. It seems that customer reviews are looking to be more significant to search engine rankings, especially on Google.

  5. While building links is always essential for organic ranking, is it more important than citations when it comes to Google Places, or are citations more important?

    • Mike Stewart says:

      Citations or local listings are links from geo-centric pages… links can have a Geo anchor text although the pages are typically not Geo specific. I am sure both are important due to a blended result, yet when the Places factors are considered, I assume Geo pages help. The real concern is that Google is emphasizing the SMB site over IYP these days. IYP sites are pulling info from the same datacenters (axciom, infoUSA, etc) and not doing enough to differentiate from one another.

  6. Gil says:

    Im interested in having someone create multiple maps on google for me. Please advise if you can help me get placed on page one.

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