Get Found on the Top of Google Search Results

You can do all the search engine optimization that you want, but the easiest way for any local business, including your massage practice, to show up at the top of Google when people search for massage is to make sure you have claimed and completed your business listing in Google Maps.devices

Here’s what shows up for “Toronto massage“. Just type massage + your city in Google search and you’ll see how businesses listings show up at the top in your area. If there are no listings in your city, congratulations! Getting listed there will be a piece of cake.

It’s free to create this listing and it’s super simple, yet only 37% of business bother to claim their listing. Are you one of those people that still haven’t done this?

Once you claim your listing (I’ll show you how in a moment) be sure to fill it out completely. Not only are you more likely to show up at the top of Google search results, but businesses with complete listings are twice as likely to be seen as reputable by visitors. It also gives visitors all the info they need about your business at a glance, including location, hours, parking, fees, etc.

How do you claim your listing?

I’ve discussed the process many times in the past in my online courses, but you can just download this document from Google that outlines the whole process for you step-by-step. The links in this document are for United States businesses, but the process is the same for all.

If you are a non-American business, go to https://www.google.com/business and follow the instructions in the document. Again, it’s super simple.

To improve your chances of having your listing show up, fill out all the information. Include images and even videos if you have some. Then send an email with the link to your Google+ Page to your clients and ask them to review your business.

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What You Should Know about the New Google Plus Local

One of the easiest ways of getting found at the top of Google over this past year has been a free Google Places listing. What you may not know is that Google recently completely changed the face of Google Places.  As a matter of fact, it is no longer Google Places.  It is now Google Plus Local – a drastic overhaul of the previous Google Places platform.

The good news is that Google Plus Local has the power to completely revolutionize the way you are used to interacting with customers via Google Places.  You might be surprised to find that the more you learn about Google Plus Local, the more excited you are to use it, and this is your perfect starting point for learning more.  Here is a guide to what local businesses should know about the new Google Plus Local:

Social Networking.  Google Plus Local is a major upgrade from the previous yellow-pages concept of Google Places.  In order to claim your Google Plus Local page, you must first create a Google Plus account.  This means you are automatically linked in to the entire Google Plus social network – a vast community of businesses, customers, and potential customers that you can interact with in a variety of ways, from posts to private messages.

The new review format.  One of the primary focuses of Google Plus Local is customer reviews; however, Google Plus Local reviews are more advanced than what you might be used to.  Fortunately for you, they also come with some great advantages.  Customers who leave reviews on your page must be logged in to their Google Plus accounts; this means there are no more anonymous reviews, which in turn means you are less likely to receive malicious or spam reviews.  You can also communicate with reviewers directly.

User ratings.  Additionally, reviewers will have the opportunity to rate your business more thoroughly and accurately, using the new Zagat scale (as opposed to the previous 5-star scale).  The Zagat scale asks that customers rate your business from 0 to 3, in a number of categories related to your business, in order to calculate an overall rating of 0 to 30.  This system is much more telling for potential customers, and much more revealing for businesses looking to improve.

What happens to your Google Places listing?  Google makes the process of switching over to Google Plus fast and simple, by allowing you to transfer your Google Places listing information over to your Google Plus Local account.

I’ll be posting more details of this important change in the coming weeks and will provide you with some specific how to advice for maximizing the benefit from your free Google listing.

Major changes for Google Places

With all the changes going on with Google’s ranking formula, using search engine optimization (SEO) to get your site highly ranked in Google has become extremely difficult for any business, let alone a massage business.

As a result, I’ve been encouraging massage professionals to use Google Places. It the fastest and easiest way to get your business found at the top of search results. These are the results with the map and the little red push pins you see whenever you do a search for a local service, ex. “Denver massage therapy”.

Although there are a lot of factors in getting your listing to rank highly, claiming and filling out your free Google Places listing is the first place to start.

Yesterday, something interesting happened to search results for local business. Google announced the launch of Google+ Local and removed the typical Google Places results.

Do a search for massage in your area and see if you notice anything different. Here are the changes for “spa Aspen” …

What you see above is the old Google Places on the left and the new Google+ Local on the right. In a nutshell, here’s what has changed:

  • There is a new Local: tab in Google+, making it another area for users to search for a local destination
  • Google+ Local pages will be seen in Google search, Maps, and mobile
  • Google+ Local now allows businesses to use all the same social tools found in and Google+ Profile. This includes posts, videos, photos and the ability to find and filter business based on the reviews and recommendations from family/ friends in your circles.
  • Zagat reviews (which Google bought last September) has replaced Google Star Ratings with Zagat’s 30-point rating scale.
  • Reviews are now going to be added through Google+ users’ account. This means that the ability to post anonymous reviews has been removed. Reviewers need to be logged into Google+ to leave a review. Note: Old reviews are being brought over to the new Google+Local Pages, so no worries!

Google has been increasingly integration its social networking platform Google+ into its other services. This is another move in that direction and increases the  integration of local listings into Google+.

It looks like could change Google Places significantly. But there’s no need to panic. In fact, chances are you haven’t even optimized your free Google listing.

I’ll follow the developments and report back to you on how you can best benefit from these new changes and maximize your ranking with the new Google+ integration. Make sure you are subscribed to this blog, subscribe to the BodyworkBiz newsletter, or simply subscribe to my Facebook updates by clicking the button below.

Make sure you take advantage of these changes. If you take action now, you’re going to benefit by getting a leg up on your competition.