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A Simple Step to Improve SEO: Google Places

Ever do a search for a type of business or organization by a common category name and location ? For example, “grocery stores in Milwaukee, WI?” Google’s return page displays a set of local business results at the top of the page, and then the rest of the results below, based on keyword and other search engine optimization factors.

For example, see the screen shot below of our search for churches.

Churches, schools and organizations with a physical street address can benefit from an instant Search Engine Optimization tool – for free! Get your church or Christian school listed in the local business places and help people searching for you find your location and website faster.

To start, you need to have a Google Account. For some clarification on what a Google Account is, see our Help Manual under Advanced Resources. With a Google Account setup, head to google.com/places. Just begin entering your information – you will see how your Google Places page will appear as you enter and edit your information.

The key areas for this listing would be your categories and your keywords, as those fields, along with your street address and city, is what will determine when your listing shows up in a users search. You can continue to edit, add and tweak your Google Places page and Places even gives you an opportunity to add event promotions and more for free.

In addition, Places offers some basic statistics about how your listing is doing.

Keep in mind that you want to build your Place page to drive traffic to your website – be sure to add your website address (URL) to your Places listing.  Also, Google Places will only work when a user enters a fairly specific geographic and category driven search (such as “christian school boston ma”). However, a large number of people are focusing their search for a church or non-profit organization by a specific geography, making Google Places ideal for most of Faithwebsites customers!

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