Don't you wish there was a magic marketing bullet that would catapult you to the top of search results? No... I'm not pitching some mysterious search engine services. But there is a simple, 5-minute update you can make to your firm or practice to help accelerate your local search rankings. Now some of the suggestions we make require much more time that 5 minutes, but if you're reading this article, and don't have a google place setup, set aside the next 10 minutes to do so. It's a small action that could yield big results (even if your firm is outside a large city).
Google Places for AccountantsIf you are not familiar with Google Places, it is how Google approaches the problem of solving what they call "local search". At some point, Google realized that someone searching for "pizza shops" didn't want to see a list of pizza companies from around the world, but rather pizza shops that were near that individual. The solution was to create Google places, so that when someone searches in Pittsburgh for "Pizza Shops", he would be given a list of pizza shops that are close to that specific search (yes, Google knows where you are in the world!). Ok, so that's for pizza shops, but the same principle applies for every service or product that could have a local client or customer base. For example, I just did a search for "Tax Services". Obviously a highly competitive word, companies will spend millions ranking for this keyword. Yet, on the first page, is a list of firms that provide tax services in Pittsburgh! They didn't pay for this position, they didn't hire an expert to set up their Google Place (I'm assuming), yet they're on the first page! (Note: this is not to say that Google Place is the only place you should list your services, but it's a great start!) Even if the majority of your clients are virtual, it will still help improve your search rankings by getting a Google Place.
How to set one up
- Go to: https://www.google.com/business/
- Do a quick search for your firm, and if it's not listed, click "Add Your Business"
- Then fill out the required form.
- Be sure to fill out as much information as possible, including phone number, images, hours of operation, and especially your address (which Google will use to determine when and where you show up on the results)
- After filling out the information, Google will send a confirmation code (either by phone or by mail. Yes, Google, of all companies, will send it by mail!)
- Then submit the confirmation code and you're up and running.