If you ever use Google from a marketing or consumer point of view you will know that Google Places have become an increasingly prominent part of the results page. In fact even non-regional searches often return local results, which I have to admit strikes me as a little over the top, but what I think is of no consequence. Google have deemed Places a priority and we as webmasters and online marketers must adapt our techniques accordingly.
The first thing that you need to do therefore is set up a Google Places page for your business. So, if I am trying to rank for SEO Leicester then I should probably ensure my services include search engines optimisation. This should ensure I appear whenever local searches are made in the Leicester area. I can also help my page to jump up the rankings by encouraging my happy customers to leave reviews. Google has a validation process by only accepting review from people with activated gmail accounts, which whilst it isn’t perfect, certainly hampers the black hat endeavours made by unscrupulous marketers. Furthermore, in order to set up your Places page in the first pace you need to provide a valid local landline telephone number on which they will phone you to check you are actually where you say you are. They also restrict you to just one places page which further restricts dodgy practices. You can imagine that if they didn’t the Places results would be full of fake addresses aimed at capturing a disproportionate share of the market.
So if you are interested in competing locally then setting up a places page is an absolute must. It’ll take no time at all and guarantee high quality local searches that often provide higher than average rates of conversion (of course this varies from market to market).