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3 Easy Ways to Maximize Your Google Places Listing

by Monika Jansen on December 20, 2011

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Golden Triangle of Google Places Listings

In the world of advertising, Google is king, and its reign begins in your Google Places listing. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and are hoping to woo business with a Google Places search, we’ve got an insider’s look at how to get results, thanks to a recent white paper published by Mediative.

To shine some light on how Google Places listings work and to find out how much it matters where your listing is located, the folks at Mediative used a number of testing tools (think eye-tracking technology, remote surveys, clickable mapping, and face-to-face interviews).

They uncovered what they describe as Google’s “Golden Triangle,” a phenomenon that describes how Internet users tend to “start looking in the upper left part of the screen, scan from left to right, then move down to the next result, scanning a little less at each line.”

While much of their data is up for interpretation, what they discovered is interesting. As you might imagine, a top-listed website will get the most visual attention and clicks. But, the more information you have (think thumbnail pictures, reviews, and social connections), the more attention you are likely to get no matter where you’re placed in the listing.

To maximize your Google Places listing, focus on these 3 basic elements:

1. Keep left

Because of the golden triangle—our tendency to look on the left—you want your listing in the left navigation bar, not the right. Start working on adding more information to your listing, including photos, to really bulk it up.

2. Be social—and visual

Next, focus on the social and visual aspects of your listing. Encourage your customers to comment about your company online. Many businesses have taken to putting TripAdvisor.com stickers on their storefront windows or offering coupons and discounts in exchange for reviews. Research backs up this approach—reviews and star ratings can increase your clicks and number of views on any given listing, and that information is all a customer may need to make a decision.

3. Location, location, location

Your business’ physical location, pinpointed on the map, is also important. Many of the eye-tracking participants in the study indicated that the physical proximity of the business to their own location would play an important role in deciding whether or not to select that business. Obviously, you want to ensure you are in a central location, but if you’re a little off the beaten path to save on rent, you could actually be hurting your business more than helping it.

If you’re not listed on Google Places yet, register today—you can start here. Good luck!

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae.

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