With local searches rising every day and Google’s places results showing in so many search queries, it’s important to avoid these fatal five mistakes that will keep you from ranking highly. Please keep in mind that these will actually hurt your Google places rankings bringing them down, so do everything you can do avoid these!
1. Tracking Phone Numbers – If you have had directory listings across the internet and then you suddenly want to add a tracking phone number; think again. Doing this will cause massive amounts of data confusion in the local ecosystem.
2. No Crawlable Address on Website – If your Google Places page is ranking for keywords and you added your website in the website field, make sure your address is listed in a text format or hCard on your website that is easily crawlable.
3. No Local Area Code - Having your 800 number might look cool and you can always add it as a secondary number. But don’t add it as your primary phone number. Make sure you have a local phone number in that geo location.
4. Having Multiple Categories in the same field - There is a reason that Google wants your places page to stick to five categories. Don’t keyword stuff this area with multiple categories. You are just asking for a penalty if you do.
5. Location Keywords in Categories – Leave the location out of the category fields. Don’t try to spam them. There are plenty of other places to address local information about your location without spamming the Google Places categories.
Google Places is a great product offered by Google. Make sure to do your research and try to provide the best user experience for anyone visiting your page. Visitors are looking for accurate information about your local business so provide them with what they want and we will all be happy!