It’s no secret now that Google Places has changed the way it does business. In an attempt to provide their users a better experience, the service recently removed third-party reviews from all their listings, and a lot of businesses are facing a new dilemma: How do I increase my visibility? Read on and find out our tips for making your Google Places listing stand apart from your competitors’.
With the removal of third-party reviews from all Google Places listings, many practices are feeling the negative effects of low review counts and missing star ratings. It all comes down to visibility. So, if you’re interested in increasing the visibility of your Google Places listing, your two best weapons are getting verified and gaining reviews.
The first step toward enhancing your visibility is to verify your Google Places listing. Verifying your listing assures Google that the business exists and the information provided is accurate. Posting pictures and videos to your listing makes it more attractive and informative, which Google places value upon. While all these will influence the visibility of your Google Places listing, the most powerful factor continues to be the number of reviews on your listing, so having a strategy to gain reviews is very important.
Gaining More Reviews
You may be asking yourself, “Why are reviews so important?” The answer is simple. Businesses that accumulate reviews are typically placed higher within search results than those with only a few or no reviews. Listings with reviews provide more information to Google users, and, hence, they are placed higher in search results.
With third-party reviews gone, you will have to start encouraging your past patients to post directly to your Google Places listing. The best way is to promote your listing through all the channels you’re already using: email, social networking sites like Facebook, word-of-mouth, etc. Get in the habit of encouraging reviews as part of your message. Over time, you may see your review count climbing back up.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to visibility, the main goal is having your Google Places listing appear in search-engine results—preferably the first page of results. Start giving Google a reason to rank your listing higher than your competitors’. Taking a few steps to ensure your listing is verified and filled out as completely as possible will give you a good foundation to build upon. Taking the next step by soliciting satisfied patients to post reviews directly to your listing will take it to the next level and make your practice even more visible.