The removal of third party reviews from Google places pages has had quite an impact on local SEO. Previously people had many reviews sucked in from other directories and review sites like Trip Advisor, Yelp etc. which helped push their listings up the search engine rankings. Now that these have been stripped out and only reviews from other Google users show many are finding that their Google places pages have slipped down the rankings and are appearing lower down the page on search results.
The way to remedy this is to use your Google places page to improve your visibility and help build your reputation. Below are 5 tips to help you optimize your page and push it back up the search rankings.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google places page. The more reviews you have, the higher up the page you will appear. Google have made the review buttons more prominent to help users leave reviews. In addition Google only lists 7 place markers per search; the more reviews you have the more likely you will be in that 7.
- Make sure that your Google places page content includes as many relevant search terms and key words as possible.
- Google loves data. Add pictures, video and as much detail as you can to your page.
- Update and refresh your page. Google loves fresh content, so every time a review is posted or you update something in the detail it sees fresh content and can improve your rankings.
- Use your places page to make offers and provide discounts to potential customers who view your page listing but make sure you review and remove or replace them if they are date specific.
Whilst we would not claim the WSI-eMarketing Google Places listing is perfect by any means, it may give you a feel for what a fully completed listing, with customer feedback looks like! And to prove it works for SEO via local search too, through a mixture of having an active listing AND gaining regular customer feedback, we now rank position No.1 for Social Media and Reputation Management in the county of South Gloucestershire
Since the removal of third party review have you seen your Google places page drop down the search engine rankings? If so, what steps did you take to turn this around and were they successful? Share your experiences with our readers.