By Claire West

It is a natural assumption that in order to get a first page search ranking, you need a well-optimised website to achieve this; however online experts have revealed that businesses don’t need to spend thousands on a website to reach page 1, they don’t even need one at all! All they need is an optimised Google Places Listing.

Google Places listings (formerly called Local business centre listings) have been around for some time, however Internet Marketing Agency e-mphasis have pioneered a unique offering, coined Google Places Optimisation (GPO), which utilises the power of local search listings to deliver consistent top page listings. GPO listings sit just below sponsored listings but above natural search results.

Google Places Optimisation (GPO) is already proving to be a quick and easy way for businesses to get on the front page with minimum spend and although a website is always recommended, it isn’t an essential requirement for a first place ranking if utilising a local listing. This is because the results are matched with key words and location.

Andrew Rayner, founder of e-mphasis says, “GPO is a simple concept, however, it leverages expertise in search marketing, and applies it to the business listings that appear alongside the image of the map on a Google search. When optimised for search these can provide highly relevant enquiries — both via click throughs to your website and also via phone calls and visits to your business etc.”

The results for online traffic speak for themselves. In the UK 90% of all searches are made on Google and over 62% will click on a result from the first page. Couple this with the fact that reports suggest that by 2020 years, 90% of all purchases will be made on or influenced by the internet, Rayner believes that the role of internet search has never been so critical to businesses looking to thrive in the coming months.

“What is so great about GPO is that is extremely cost effective and works much quicker than organic search which can take 2-3 months to filter through and be fully indexed by the search engines. It is entirely possible for GPO to start producing results in a matter of days. GPO is a cost-effective, fixed price, low-risk approach to maximising online search and raising visibility. I would recommend all businesses explore the potential of local internet marketing as many simply don’t know the facility even exists,” says Rayner.