Progress in Google Places rankings is non-linear. If you’re #6 for a given search term, the next ranking you achieve might be #2 or #19, but it probably won’t be #5 and then #4.
Your business is unlikely to inch up or down in the local rankings. The problem is that can make it very tough to tell if you’re doing things effectively or back-asswards. You need some indicators that you’re at least headed in the right (or wrong) direction.
Here are a few milestones you’ll probably pass if you’re on your way to better Google Places rankings:
- Milestone 1: Everything you see when logged into your Google Places “Dashboard” reflects what’s “live” on your Places page (the stuff customers see). If you make edits, it may take Google a while to process them, but if you see discrepancies that don’t go away after a couple weeks, you may have duplicate Google listings, which you’ll need to get removed.
- Milestone 2: Your GetListed.org score is 90-100%. It takes a little work to achieve this, but it’s worth it. It’s also a good indicator you’re listed on the major third-party sites, and accurately.
- Milestone 3: “At a glance” snippets appear on your Google Places page, and they’re at least semi-relevant to your services. These snippets often tell you what services Google associates with your business—that is, what it thinks you’re “about.” Get them by beefing up your listings on third-party sites with detailed info on your services and business.
- Milestone 4: The green bars in your Places “Dashboard show that the search terms people are currently finding your Places page for are roughly the same terms you want to get visible for. These stats aren’t always reliable, but they can help tell you whether you’re on the right track.
Your trek up the Google Places rankings may be a bumpy one. But it’s less disorienting if you know which milestones to look out for—and how to reach them if you haven’t already.
Can you think of any other “milestones” you’ve passed—or would like to pass? Be a sport and leave a comment, will ya?