Local listings on Google.com can make or break certain types of businesses, but did you know that when you drop in placement there may be some things you can do to remediate your drop.
Here’s what I recommend you look at first after your ranking has dropped:
1. Make sure you review, understand and fully embrace Google’s Places Quality Guidelines.
2. You must link to a specific address – no post office boxes.
3. Google wants a local phone number not your vanity number or a 1-800 number.
4. Select one category at the minimum from Google’s own list of categories. Even if you provide permanent makeup not tattoos, the correct category for you according to Google is tattoos. Provide other choices using the custom category option.
5. Here’s a big one: “Only businesses that make in-person contact with customers qualify for a Google Places listing.” So if you don’t ever meet your customer face to face, you will not be able to get Google+ Local placement and should not expect to rise in the rankings or placement.
6. Be aware that Google is cracking down right now on duplicate listings for Google+ Local Places; trying to weed out fictitious accounts or those that have previously gamed the system trying to get better location specific placement by using fake or bogus addresses. You can no longer use your mother-in-laws address as a store location just to get placement in that city.
With Google Local providing an excellent avenue to drive traffic to local stores, but with Google’s improved understanding of your real business location, it is getting nearly impossible to “game” the system as many were previously able to do.