Google Places Cheat Sheet

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					                         Local SEO


                  Google Places Cheat Sheet




By Brian Anderson
Partner
Peachtree SEO

All Rights Reserved        Peachtree SEO      Page 1
Contents
Liability Disclaimer ........................................................................................................................ 3
Terms of Use ................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 4
Google Places Courses .................................................................................................................... 5
Peachtree SEO Internal “Cheat Sheet” ........................................................................................... 6
   Citations ...................................................................................................................................... 6
   Reviews ....................................................................................................................................... 8
   Google Places Listing ................................................................................................................. 8
   Local SEO ................................................................................................................................. 12
   Google Maps ............................................................................................................................. 13




All Rights Reserved                                           Peachtree SEO                                                               Page 2
Liability Disclaimer
By reading this document, you assume all risks associated with using the advice given below, with a
full understanding that you, solely, are responsible for anything that may occur as a result of putting
this information into action in any way, and regardless of your interpretation of the advice.

You further agree that our company cannot be held responsible in any way for the success or failure
of your business as a result of the information presented below. It is your responsibility to conduct
your own due diligence regarding the safe and successful operation of your business if you intend to
apply any of our information in any way to your business operations.




Terms of Use
You are given a non-transferable, “personal use” license to this product. You cannot distribute it or
share it with other individuals. Also, there are no resale rights or private label rights granted when
purchasing this document. In other words, it's for your own personal use only.




All Rights Reserved                        Peachtree SEO                                        Page 3
Introduction

This is a concise, but hopefully useful summary of what I use with my own local SEO team. So who
am I? As some of you know, I run a small SEO company in Atlanta (www.peachtreeseo.com),
heavily focused on local clients.

While we originally focused on the legal profession, our practice has rapidly grown to include
virtually every business type you could imagine.

We offer a mix of organic SEO services coupled with Google Places. While we do offer social
media marketing and other revenue sources such as direct email and niche website design, 95% of
my companies revenue comes from SEO – true organic and “local”.

My business has grown so much that I’ve had to hire 2 additional US staff, a sales person, and more
offshore talent.

Personally, my professional background is in software, more specifically marketing. I’ve run both
internet marketing and overall strategic marketing for several companies – which really means I’ve
been laid off a few times! While the benefits were great and the pay even better, there is nothing
better than true financial freedom working in your own small business and letting your own hard
work determine how much you earn.

Here is a recent picture of my wife and I so that you can put a face with a name.




Dec. 2010 – Emeril’s South Beach

If you’d like to contact me directly, please do so through the Warrior Forum (LiquidSEO) or my
website.


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Google Places Courses
I’ve had the fortune of meeting some phenomenal people from the Warrior Forum and other similar
discussion boards and sites. They’ve all helped me in different ways, although in the last 18 months
I’ve been blessed to have met several people who have truly made a BIG difference financially for
my company.

To those of you – thank you very much.

Some of the courses out there are really good. This is not meant to be a true “Google Places”
strategy, but is my personal crib notes, or “cheat sheet”, that I use with a client to make sure we
don’t miss anything. This addresses hot points that we are careful to either do, not do, or account
for as we rank our local Google Places clients.

I can recommend a few good courses out there, although I am not sure if they’ve all been
completely updated as of 12/29/2010 to reflect the new Google algorithms.

You can find these on WF as WSO’s:

       Dhira’s -- GOOGLE PLACES SECRET SYSTEM (G.P.S.S.) (newly released in Dec. 2010)

       Mario Brown’s – Google Places Unleashed

       Ken Anderson’s – Google Places Domination and The Insider Scoop


If you are looking for a truly comprehensive course to teach you Google Places, please purchase one
or in truth, all of these courses. Between them, you will get great video, lots of basic and advanced
concepts, and will possess a superb library of Google Places information to help teach you.

You won’t find a lot of marketing/sales fluff here. This is an excerpt of some material we use at my
company, Peachtree SEO, as a companion for someone who is comfortable with Google Places.




All Rights Reserved                       Peachtree SEO                                       Page 5
Peachtree SEO Internal “Cheat Sheet”
The below is from an email I sent out recently to our team:


…..”Here are some updated tweaks/secrets that will enhance our past systems on Google
Places. Some of this will be redundant for you, but I’m summarizing this information here so it’s in
one place and is very concise.”


Citations

1.    Before starting a new Google Places listing – always build the citations first. You want these
     available for Google to find when you do the Google Places page.

2. Citation hot list:

     Here are my personal “big three” – at least for the US - that get included on absolutely every
     new listing.

        a. Insider Pages
        b. Yelp
        c. Super Pages


     Beyond these 3, we choose from a wide variety of standard citation sites including the following:

           Judy’s Book
           Kudzu
           Manta
           HotFrog
           ShopCity
           Dexknows
           The yellows (Yellow Pages, Yellow Book, Yellow Bot and Magic Yellow)
           Merchant Circle
           Shop City
           Info USA
           AVVO
           Lawyers.COM
           Localeze
           City Search
           Local.com
           Foursquare
           Angie’s List


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   These are not all, as there are dozens more that are locally focused or industry focused. Don’t
   neglect these.


   3.   Citations - Competitive Intelligence

           a. Choose your top 3 keyword(s) or keyword phrases

           b. Review the Top 7 in the 7-pak for each of these in the city we are targeting
                  i. If not a 7-pak, choose “Places” from left navigation and then take the first 7

           c. Make a simple spreadsheet with all of the citations found on each of these 7
              companies Google Places page.

           d. Go ahead and build each of these citations for the clients site
                  i. Some may be paid listings, so make a note of these and skip them for now

           e. For super competitive niches, expand our competitive intelligence to include the top
              7 companies in Los Angeles or New York City.
                  i. This will allow us to expand our local list to build a truly augmented list that
                     will help separate the client from the competition.

   4.   Citations – Get them indexed

           a. The indexing of most citations will happen automatically thanks to the fact the
              parent website is strongly indexed in Google.

           b.    To give our citations a boost, have each citation page back-linked with the top 2
                keyword phrases – 20-25 backlinks.
                    i. We do this number because we have a full time offshore team that works for
                        us. You could probably get away with less, this is just what we do.

           c. If you really want to make sure the citation is indexed, I recommend using a tool
              such as Pingler.

   5.   Remember – everything needs to match up between citations, website and Google Places

           a. Business Name
           b. Address
           c. Phone number

        If you make a mistake here, your citations will most likely NOT get credited to the Google
        Places listing. Be careful.




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Reviews

   6. Reviews are critical to both getting the citation indexed and ranked strong in Google as well
      as propelling the Google Places listing into the 7-box. They are not the only factor, and
      thus, some Google Places listings with no reviews will still get in the 7 box.

   7. In each review we “help” create, be very careful to work in 1-2 keyword phrase(s) and the
      geographic term we are using.

          a. If the specific review offers a title and body area, attempt to this for both sections

   8. For Google Places, it takes 5 reviews to get a “Star Rating”. We want all of our clients to
      have a star rating, so over the first 30 days make sure the client hits 5+ reviews.

   9. Reviews on other sites:

          a.   Yahoo
          b.   City Search
          c.   Insider Pages
          d.   Service Magic
          e.   AVVO
          f.   Angie’s List
          g.   Judy’s Book
          h.   Etc…

      are known to be picked up by Google Places and sometimes included in the primary listing.
      This is a wonderful thing and will help the customer convert more calls from the listing.

   10. If you are a “newbie” reading this, be very careful trying to create numerous reviews using
       different login id’s. Your IP address is often monitored, and you could find yourself with a
       suspended Google Places account and a client who’s listing has been taken down.

   11. See the QR listing area of the document (near the end)

          a. Using the QR codes at each customers business can help get real clients to post
             reviews for the customer.

          b. We all have the problem of needing more reviews – which are somewhat difficult to
             get from our clients customers.


Google Places Listing

   12. When making your Google Places listing, remember the recent changes!

          a. Don’t stuff keywords in the category section (no more commas!)



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          b. Be very careful to not use geographic terms in the category section – whether as
             prefix or suffix.

              Good Example: Personal Injury Attorney
              Bad Example: Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

          c. No toll free numbers as the primary number – only a local number in that city. If
             the customer wants a toll-free, put it in as a secondary number. Offer the
             opportunity to list a mobile phone.

          d. Use the businesses REAL address. If they are not in the city center, then have them
             rent an executive suite (not a UPS store mailbox).

   13. Be sure to use almost all of the 200 characters allowed in the description. Work in 1-2
       keyword phrases in a meaningful way. It needs to sounds good, yet this is a great place to
       work in our keywords.

   14. In the “Service Areas and Location Settings” – always choose “No, all customers come to
       the business location”. (see below image)




      There are lots of thoughts and speculation on why this helps, but suffice to say, it really
      helps with ranking. This may change in the future, but for now, just accept this is true.

   15. In the “Pictures” section of the Google Places entry, use the “Add a photo from the web”
       option. (see below image) This is valid for most entries.

                   i. Select the URL to the 10 pictures you added into either Insider Pages or a
                      photosharing site.
                          1. If on a photosharing site like PhotoBucket, be sure to tag the pictures
                              with our keywords.

                  ii. If we load the pictures in direct to the listing, be sure to name each picture
                      with the keyword (2 pictures per keyword).

      Remember, we need to use the same tagged 10 images everywhere.




All Rights Reserved                       Peachtree SEO                                        Page 9
   16. When we add our videos, remember the following:

                  i. 5 videos are needed

                         1. I know this seems painful, but be sure to take the time to create and
                            build 5 videos if we can’t get from the client.

                         2. Even a video from YouTube that can be geo-tagged and use is
                            helpful.

                 ii. Geo-tag each video in YouTube

                      Example: Put the date and your business address here.




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                  iii. Use the same 5 videos in Google Places and in local citations that allow
                       videos.

                  iv.    If your customer doesn’t have videos make them – use Microsoft Movie
                        Maker if need be. Don’t ignore this area – it may be what separates you from
                        the competition.

   17. Categories in Google Places

      Keep in mind the new rules published from Google, especially this item right here:

               NEW GUIDELINES ABOUT GOOGLE PLACES CATEGORIES
               Categories should say what your business is (e.g. Hospital), not on
               what it does (e.g. Vaccinations) or things it sells (e.g. HP products or
               printer paper). This information can be added in your description or
               as custom attributes.

          a. These need to be the exact same across Google Places, review sites, and categories in
             business listing sites.

          b. If there are multiple categories that legitimately describe what your business is – then
             use them. Otherwise do not. Even if you have to use a custom term, use it to
             describe what your business is.

          c. This means there is no longer a “requirement” to use all 5 to make a more complete
             listing.

          d. No geographic terms and don’t spam the category list. I repeat – don’t spam the
             category list. No crazy long sentences, no putting 5 words separated by a comma in
             one category. Just use one word/phrase for each category. Supposedly it needs to
             be about what your business is, not what it does/sells. I have not seen this enforced
             as of December 30th, 2010.

   18. More Details Section

          a.   Continue to use this section for putting intelligent, keyword rich phrases.
               Example:


          b.    Another innovative way to leverage the More Details section is to connect it to the
               various citation/review sites you may have. Look at the example below:




All Rights Reserved                       Peachtree SEO                                      Page 11
                          1.   This approach does two things:
                                  a. It helps connect Google Places with your citations, making it
                                      easier for Google to find them and get them listed on your
                                      customers Google Places page.
                                  b. It showcases the strong review data the customer has
                                      received. Many of our customers tell us that the real clients
                                      that come off of the Google Places page make their decision
                                      based on reviews. This will only reinforce all of the reviews
                                      across many sites.




Local SEO

   19. SEO Factors / New Google Places formula

   It’s quite obvious that the most recent update from November 2010 has tremendously changed
   the factors used to rank Google Places sites. SEO is now a key factor – which is great, as we can
   all control this!

   Our client websites that are strongly optimized are seeing great results. Those without a website
   or an optimized site are declining or even dropping out.

   If our customer does not have a website, use either the Insider Page we create for their website
   or another site such as their Facebook fan page.

   20. Linkbuilding to Google Places pages

          a. Strategy here is to help the Google Places page for the specific keywords

          b. Recommend linking in proportion to the competitiveness of the term
                 i. I typically have 20 links built by my team to each GP location, the primary
                    website, and the major 3 citations.
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          c. XML Sitemap
               i. Make sure the primary website has an XML sitemap created and installed.
                   Ensure that the local address/phone number is on each page, and that it
                   matches to the Google Places listing.

          d. Make sure website has KML file (location)

          e. Create KML file and Geo-Sitemap
                  i. Use free tool - http://www.geositemapgenerator.com/
                 ii. Load KML file on your website
                iii. Load the KML Sitemap to Google Webmaster tools


Google Maps


   21. Google Maps
         a. Note – I am differentiating between Google Places and Google Maps.

          b. We will want to create 10+ Google Maps (My Maps) for each customer
                 i. Use the customers Google account to build one
                ii. Build as many as you can with your own resources.
               iii. Leverage sites like Microworkers or MTurk, and to get the rest of these done
                    very cheaply.




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          c. The concept here is simple, yet often overlooked by many people. It’s obvious that
             Google Maps is directly tied to Google Places. To give us an additional advantage,
             we need to add each listings address to Google Maps.
                  i. The title of the My Maps needs to be keyword specific.
                 ii. Make sure the address you use in Google Maps is the same from Google
                     Places (sorry… that one is obvious!).
                         1. This goes in the Description Area. (see above image)
                iii. In the description of the My Map – use 1-2 sentences that mention our
                     keyword phrase(s).
                iv. Get as many of these created as possible. Once again – 10 or more is the
                     goal.

QR Codes

   22. The recent release of “QR codes” by Google to their higher traffic Google Places customers
       has opened up a few new possibilities.




          a.   A QR code is a 2D code that can be can be scanned by smartphone cameras to
               automatically pull up text, photos, videos, webpages, and more. All new smartphones
               come with the ability to read QR with the aid of a phone app. Look for QR reader in
               your phone’s app store and install it now if you need to. On the iPhone, options
               include QuickMark and Optiscan. On Android, Barcode Scanner is a popular QR
               code reader.

               As QR codes become more popular, you will be very thankful you have the scanner
               to read them. The codes will open up a whole new world of information – and not
               just for comparing prices.



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             We help our clients use the QR code to help get new reviews. Yes…the QR code
             for reviews!

             Print out a QR code for your client, and have them keep it handy and ideally,
             prominently visible. When a happy client is there, or a regular/repeat client, get
             them to use their phone to access the page and leave a review!

             Note – if your client didn’t get a QR code from Google, make one for them.

             http://qrcode.kaywa.com/




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