Google Places Optimisation

 

google-places-seo

 

 

Google Places is what gives your website the top of Google, with a map, it is the most likely place people will click on when searching for businesses in their area. Google use a lot of new and different ways to rank websites for local search, and it can be a small mission to get it all right.

Anyone with a physical address can submit their business to Google Maps. However there are a few things they do to make sure the system is not being manipulated. To make sure the basic information you submit is accurate, Google will ask you to verify it first by entering a PIN that will be sent to either your business address or phone number.

There are a few things that we will do for you to improve your position at the top of Google Maps. This is how we work;

  1. There is a far higher value placed on information from authoritative listings, such as Yellow Pages, White Pages and other directories. We work with some of the big, main directories, to ensure that your website and your business is listed correctly.
  2. Largely, the ranking relies on your physical location. There is more emphasis placed on the city/suburb of the search than the keywords. We can help you find ways to get listed in more location cheaply, but it means you will have to open other offices in other locations.
  3. We will not resort to old SEO tricks to manipulate the results. All our methods are above board, legitimate and will not infringe on Google’s terms.

How We Work

  1. One listing per physical location. Even you cover multiple towns, you should focus on one area, or try to get office space in the other areas. We will optimise the description of your business or categories to explain the different services your business offers. For businesses with special services, such as law firms and doctors or health centres, we will not create multiple listings to cover all specialties, but try to find the one category that fits.
  2. Pick your Battles. If you have the chance to list your business in a small local area, do it. Do not try to go up against larger competitors in bigger areas.
  3. We will help with Semantic SEO, to make sure that your business has the right tags to improve on local searches.
  4. More local citations, we will get your business and address listed in as many local addresses as possible.
  5. Good reviews through Google Places will improve your position. We will help you encourage your customers to write a review of you as much as possible.

The SEO landscape is an ever evolving world. The world of the local search has developed a full head of steam and there is no turning back. As Google has never been known for making anything simple and easy to manage, the same algorithms that are used for primary SEO functions will not apply with local searches; an entirely different set of algorithms will be used. There are number of ways that you can improve your local search rankings. This article will focus on the use of Google Places.

Over 20 percent of Google searchers are searching for local businesses and this number literally doubles when the search is conducted from a mobile phone. What does this mean? Basically there is an entire market out there for local businesses and making your local business easily accessible in searches is paramount for the success of your business.

It is no surprise that Google has launched Google Places which is a powerful tool to improve your ability to be searched and found during local searches for the services that you offer.

Google Places can be compared to Yelp as a general online local directory of businesses in a multiplicity of categories. With the new search engine algorithms implemented by Google and other large search engines such as Yahoo and Bing, having a Google Places optimized account immediately places you in a higher position with a larger listing than when you are found in organic search results.

As with all Google products, Google Places receives unique attention from the Google search engine. There is a level of relevance that is associated with having an optimized Google Places account. With a Google Places account your prevalence during searches is higher. With a Google page you are able to enter all of your pertinent information such as address, hours of operation, contact information and service specifications. Searchers will also be able to view a map of your current business location, as well as get directions.

With your Google places account your customers will be able to provide reviews on your services and products which will be valuable when searchers view your profile. Positive feedback from customers increases your chances of growing your business.

It is important to understand the rules for ranking and placement on local searches are different that traditional Google searches, and your Google pages ranking is dependent on maximum optimization. This can be a complex cycle that is better left up to professional SEO companies that have specific expertise in using Google pages to enhance local search rankings.

Australian Managed VPS options

Again we are in the market for more server space, so we thought we would write a comparison of hosts who offer VPS options in Australia. We were specifically looking for hosts that had a HQ in Australia, and that the servers were based here. The minimum we are looking for is the following;

  • Dedicated IP
  • WHM + Cpanel + Fantastico
  • Managed Backups, monitoring and firewalls
  • Max price $80/month
  • MIN STORAGE 15 GB OR MIN BANDWIDTH 300 GB

Not all hosts offer management, and not all hosts offer cPanel, so we tried to put them all together, and if the extra costs were obvious then we would include them too. I am happy to add more hosts that fit the criteria. We found this neat little tool that allowed us to compare a lot of other options. From this, we found that the servers that met our criteria and performed the best were VPS.net and Servers Australia, with Web24 and Exigent getting honorable mentions.

http://www.exigent.com.au/hosting/vps-plus-pricing.php

150GB Disk Space
1TB Bandwidth
4GB Memory
1x IPv4 Address
From $50.00/month
cPanel + WHM $15.00/month

http://www.crucial.com.au/vps/vps-hosting#plantable
RAM 1 GB
STORAGE 35 GB
BANDWIDTH 150 GB
DEDICATED IPS 1
$ 49 .95 /month
$19 / month for cpanel
$50/month for management

http://deasoft.com/auvps.php
RAM 4GB
Storage 100GB
200GB Bandwidth
DEDICATED IPS 1
$44.95/mnth
$14.95/mnth Management
$16.95/mnth Cpanel

http://www.digitalpacific.com.au/hosting/dedicated-hosting/virtual-private-servers/managed/
RAM 1GB
Storage 25GB
60GB Bandwidth
DEDICATED IPS 2
$74.90/mnth inc Management + Cpanel

http://www.hostgeek.com.au/managed-vps
30GB Disk Space
50 GB Bandwidth
2 CPU cores @ 3.2 Ghz
512MB RAM
DEDICATED IPS 1
$70/mnth

http://www.vpsblocks.com.au/Default.aspx
60GB Disk Space
100 GB Bandwidth
1GB RAM
DEDICATED IPS 1
$74/mnth

https://www.echoman.com.au/vps/linux-vps/
2Gb RAM
4 vCPU’s
50Gb disk space RAID 10
400Gb bandwidth
1 IP address
$50 / Month

http://www.ransomit.com.au/vps
1GB RAM
40 GB Space
200 GB Bandwidth
$24 p/month

http://www.serversaustralia.com.au/starter-virtual-dedicated-servers.php
1GB RAM
25 GB Space
10 GB
200 GB Bandwidth
$45.95/Mnth
$59.95 management

http://www.netorigin.com.au/vps-hosting/vps
300GB Space
450 GB bandwidth
4GB Ram
$49.95/Mnth
VPS Management: $29.95/month

http://vps.net/cloud-servers#top
2GB RAM
40GB Space
1200GB Bandwidth
$72/mnth
$69/Mnth management

Semantic Markup for SEO

When most companies think of website optimization, they tend to think of keyword usage, spending considerable amounts of time testing specific words and phrases that have been shown to be popular among their target audience. Keywords and phrases are certainly important components of a well-designed SEO strategy; but companies should also be focusing on semantic markup, which can have a substantial effect on search engine rankings and click-through results.

What is semantic markup?

If you have a website, you probably know what markup is: Essentially, markup comprises all the HTML coding that helps your site run – and run smoothly. It’s the language that allows your site to communicate with the Internet at large and search engines specifically. The word “semantics” means “meaning.” So, broadly speaking, semantic markup is the use of HTML to highlight the site’s purpose. More specifically, it’s the use of HTML to highlight specific features of the site, much in the same manner as keywords. But, instead of embedding relevant words and phrases within the text of your site, semantic HTML uses the site’s underlying code to highlight those aspects of your business that appeal to your target audience. Proper semantic markup can help search engines interpret your site’s information more clearly, enhancing your company’s search engine rankings and results. To get a better understanding, consider the following examples of semantic markup usage:

What are the benefits of semantic markup?

In addition to improving overall search results, semantic markup used correctly can improve the chances that search engines will highlight your business’ site by using rich snippets, detailed information that enhances the search experience and increases click-through rates. In essence, rich snippets help a search engine user determine the relevance of your site right on the search page. That means that when someone clicks to your site, that person is much more likely to be interested in your product or service- and hence, much more likely to become a customer.

Types of semantic markup

  • Authorship markup

This is arguably the most critical type of semantic markup, allowing your photograph from your Google+ account to appear in search results right alongside the pages and content you’ve created. In local search, adding your personal photograph can increase the authority of your site among search engine users, making your site appear more legitimate and user-friendly.

  • Places/Local markup

Using place formatting from schema.org, local markup emphasizes your company’s physical location, including the address and contact information, in addition to hours of operation, types of payment accepted, a map to your location, listings of events and more information about your business’ place or location. Schema.org’s place formatting also lets you provide geotagging information for your business using geocoordinates to make finding your business a breeze.

  • Object markup

Objects can be video clips or audio clips, news articles and other items that help define your company and the products or services it offers. Each type of object has its own markup style and contents. There are many types of object markup options, covering physical items for sale on your site, written content like news articles and other posts, and video and audio content. For instance, object markup for a “thing” lets you include an item description and an image of the item along with the item’s description. Object markup for a creative work includes information about that work, review ratings user comments and even the intended audience in addition to coding for the physical properties of the object. Audio and video objects include similar information as well as information about the type of player required to view or listen to the object. Again, all of this markup provides a more comprehensive search experience for potential customers and improves relevant click-throughs by providing search engine users with more specific information.

  • Product markup

This one is fairly self-explanatory: If your company offers products for sale on its site, product markup can include the price and availability of your products as well as providing customer ratings. It’s an effective way of drawing attention to your products at the search engine level and can significantly increase click-throughs to your site.

  • Events

Does your business participate in or host events? Using events markup can help draw attention to those events as well as making your site look more established and consumer-friendly in searches. Similarly, offer schema formatting lets companies highlight coupons, sales and other special offers to draw customers.

  • Meta tags

Meta tags have been around for a long time, and despite the fact that they are an important tool in both the search engine rankings process and the click-through rate, many businesses still neglect them. Often, meta information is provided as the snippet that shows up under your business name in search engine results, so every company should take care to create a tag that accurately describes their business. Tags also allow companies to provide additional information that can improve search engine rankings, so be sure to take full advantage of this critical component of site development and design.

Successful web development involves the incorporation of all these elements and more. Creative Development’s team of SEO experts is ready to ensure your site fully utilizes semantic markup to improve its search engine rankings and results and drive new business to your site.