Google announced earlier this week a round of exciting changes to its Place pages for local listings. These changes impact how Place listings themselves are presented as well as how Places content is now integrated into some SERPs. You can learn more about those specific changes here. This is a tremendous opportunity to push great local content to both loyal customers and prospects. Here’s what you need to do to take advantage of it.
Claim Place Pages ASAP
First, claim your Google Place pages if you haven’t done so already. If you aren’t claiming Place pages, you are leaving money on the table in the form of lost visits, leads, and sales. When we look at unclaimed Place pages, we constantly see incorrect data – phone numbers that have been disconnected, zip codes with an incorrect digit, etc. Claiming these listings allows you direct access to pipe in accurate data, as well as to optimize content (which we’ll discuss in a moment).
If you are a single point location, or a company with a handful of shops, you can claim Places listings directly through Google. If you’re a larger company with many locations, contact 15miles as we have turnkey solutions that make the claiming and optimization process completely painless for you.
Good Content is Good Local SEO
Next, build out your content. You can upload photos, videos, menu info, store hours, descriptions, and more to Place pages. It’s always been important to take advantage of that feature, because it begins the relationship-building process with new customers and extends feelings of familiarity with loyal patrons. Just as you’d want to deliver the most complete user experience possible on your web site, you’d want to do the same with your Place page.
The opportunity is even greater now because Place page info is appearing within the SERP itself. In the screen capture below, you can see that photos, hours, transit info, and basic location info from the Place page are all being pulled into the SERP itself.
The user doesn’t even have to click through to the page itself to find much of the information they need. What an amazing user experience you can now deliver – but only if you are publishing content to the Place page to begin with.
Manage & Measure
Finally, put a plan in place to manage Place pages on an ongoing basis. Claiming Place pages initially will allow you to correct outdated or erroneous info the first time around, but you need to follow up with regular feeds each time location data changes. You need to monitor content publishing opportunities, looking for new photos, new location info, and anything else to freshen up these listings. And you need to measure the impact of these listings. Track the traffic they bring in just as you would traditional organic or paid traffic. See how this change or future ones like it, as well as the addition of new content as referenced above, impact your traffic. Again, 15miles has solutions in place that make ongoing management of these local listings incredibly easy.
Google has made it clear over the last 3-4 years that the SERP will only continue to get more local in nature. This is a very clear illustration of that, so make sure you heed the advice above to fully leverage the opportunity this particular change presents.