Google has all types of search tools. From regular search to social search, videos, news, images, shopping, books, and others, it can be overwhelming. But today, we're going to make it simple for recreation agencies or anyone who manages physical facilities and parks. Each gym, park, rec center, and pool can have it's own Google place page that will appear in Google's results. It's easy to set up, powerful, and free:
Why You Need a Google Place Page
- 97 percent of consumers search for local businesses online
- Google Places are listed on the first page of results for locally-based searches like park, gym and pool
- Your page will tie directly to Google Maps to offer directions for searchers who find your facility
- You can add pictures and videos to visually attract searchers
- Reviews can be posted to give searchers an organic view of what you offer
- It's easy and free!
How to Set It Up
- Search for one of your facilities on Google Maps. Most likely, a page has already been set up automatically, you just haven't claimed and completed it yourself yet. If you see your facility listed, click on it and then click "Business Owner?" in the top right corner. This is the first step to claiming it.
- If your facility does not have a page, you can easily set one up.
- Read the "Google Places Quality Guidelines" before filling in your information. You'll notice important points like P. O. boxes and phone numbers stuffed in the business name will get you denied.
- Fill in all of the fields. The more information you provide, the better. Google wants to give the searcher the best experience and more information helps them achieve that. If you fill in every field, there is a better chance you'll come up higher in local search results.
- Add photos, videos, and a well-written description.
How to Optimize It for Search Results
This is how you can get your free listing to jump up to the top of local search results over time. Follow these steps:
- Add your keywords to the description, but do not overuse them. Basically, write a description for your target market, not Google's algorithm. If you host "exercise classes" and "Yoga classes on Saturdays" at your park, be sure to add those in. This will help your ranking and will help attract more of your target customer.
- Do not add a keyword into the title of your facility. Google has to approve your listing before it goes live. A listing with "Circle Park | Local Yoga Classes" will surely get you denied.
- Encourage reviews. Having a bunch of positive reviews is the best way to skyrocket up local search results. Even though Google does not like people to incentivize positive reviews, you could try asking your Facebook fans for reviews or post a sign at your facility encouraging people to review you on Google.
- Monitor the stats. When you log in to your Google places account, you'll be able to see analytics like how many times your listing has appeared in search results, which search queries bring people to your page, and how many clicks have been generated to your website.
Google place pages are easy to set up and they're free. On top of that, they are integrated into regular searches conducted by people near you. This is a great way to get more people to see and visit your parks, pools, gyms, rec centers and more. Try it out and let us know how it goes!