Google Places Everyone is familiar with Google Maps. You can type an address in Google map and see the map of the specific location. Google places is an effective business platform for small or big businesses. Google Local Search Service is actually known as Google Local. According to Google, 73% of all internet activity is related to local search. This was few years before. At present nobody can tell exactly how important is the Google’s local business. Even general searches in Google without having anything local in them results in serving of local search results. As Google is dominating other search engines, and giving more importance to its local search it is time for us to think more seriously about inclusion in Google Places. Here are some important factors Google pays special attention to in serving their local search results. Proximity to city: The proximity of your business address to the city had great importance before. But at present Google doesn’t pay much importance to it. But still proximity is an important factor for local business listing. If you serve an off-location business you can add multiple addresses across a city or in different cities if you have employees on those locations. You can even add your employee’s residence address in local business listing. This will not seem to be spam, but you have to make sure that those areas are actually your service areas where you can easily provide service to your clients. Providing multiple addresses in your service areas are not against the quality guidelines. On the other hand, if you are doing an on-location business like a restaurant, you cannot add business address like this. This is because, such businesses are bound by location and service is available on a specific location. For such business, if geographical proximity is a negative factor you can do nothing except actually changing the location. For on-location business, it is a good news that Google pays comparatively less importance to proximity than it used to have before. But still it is not irrelevant and cannot be as proximity is an important factor in providing the service to the client. Remember that Google always stands for potential customers. Title: Title of the local business listing plays an important role on the ranking in search listing. Most people pays more importance to their business title and ultimately making it a title spam. In Google’s view, adding extraneous keywords in title is a spam and will be removed from the search listing. An optimal title should include the business name, location and a single keyword that describes the business most effectively. What most people do is adding keywords to the title, even if those words cannot give any meaning to the title. The theory is that, if you feel a title looks like spam, it is. Keyword spamming in a title does not help in fact. Google pays very little importance to keywords. A title that helps the customers to understand what your business is about is the best title. Having an attractive title will increase the click through rate, bringing more customers to your business. Using title spamming will actually decrease the CTR. Title spamming may be sometimes beneficial but always remember that it is just temporary. Google can find out this at any time and your business listing will be removed from Google. Categories: Before adding categories to your local business listing, it is important to do a keyword research. You should have an idea about the behaviour of your customers in finding you out. Use keywords that suit you perfectly then keywords that can have more searches. Google uses categories just like it used meta keyword tags before. According to old search engine algorithm of Google, Keyword meta tags had so much importance and because of keyword spamming, it almost avoided keyword meta tags. At present, Google pays more importance to categories in local business listing. Any changes made to the categories will be reflected on the search listing within 5 to 6 hours. It is an opportunity for us to do some research on this to find out which keywords bring more customers. Using keywords in categories needs more attention to avoid keyword spamming. Always remember to include keywords that can best describe your business rather than keywords being searched more. Consider the search habits of your customers in selecting keywords. Description: Description of your business is another important factor in bringing new customers and also to convert them from visitor to buyer. Description should be in less than 200 words and should describe your business well. If your description can bring more clients and gain their trust, you will succeed. The most important factor is gaining the trust of your clients. Including some keywords in description is also important but the most important is gaining trust. You can mention some of your awards or patents in description to gain trust of your clients. If you have the business that has been around for a long time, do not forget to mention them in description. What you include in description should be unique. You can include some of your primary keywords in description. Make sure that the description field conveys a proper and suitable meaning. Simply filling some keywords in description field will make it a spam and will fail in gaining trust from your clients. Phones and addresses: You should have a unique address and a phone number. Google is constantly trying to find out multiple business listings sharing same address or phone number. If you have multiple businesses listing always use separate phone number and address for each. If you find out any other business listing with the same address as yours, you can claim your address or you can try to differentiate your address. Having a unique address and phone number is really important to gain trust from clients and to protect your ranking in Google local business listing. Hours of operation and additional details: Provide information about the hours of operation and as much additional details as you can. Additional details can be parking facilities, Brands available and other business details. Accuracy of information provided by you is important. You can also add some pictures and videos. PAID INCLUSION AND FREE LISTING: Google local business listing is supplied with paid advertisements related to the search. You can sign up for Google adwords account and start an ad campaign targeted specifically to your service area. Geographical targeting ensures your ad to be displayed only when a client from that particular area searches for keywords related to your business. If you have followed all guidelines mentioned above and start an ad campaign in adwords, you can succeed in your business. Free listing is also effective in bringing potential customers to you, but it is dependent on competition in your business. If you have more competitors ad campaign will be really helpful. If you are in the safe zone, free listing will be sufficient to bring customers to you. Google’s search engine algorithm is the most efficient and undergoes major changes frequently. It is important to keep up to date with the developments and changes in search engine algorithm to ensure success. The most important principle is that you give importance to your clients than search engine because, Google also gives importance to clients rather than advertisers. Keep only factual information of your business and gain trust from your clients and from Google.