Ralph

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Another place to add keywords!
I just got off the phone with Google support discussing the guidelines for the business description. I was told that there are no guidelines and no limit to the length of the description. I asked if 50 to 75 word description was acceptable and I was told not a problem.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Another place to add keywords!

Hi Ralph, even though nothing is explicitly spelled out in the guidelines I would be careful whenever approaching the description with "Another place to add keywords!" mentality.

Use the description as a place to set yourself apart from the competition. Not to add in keywords. Getting a potential customer to the actual G+ Local page is a big enough challenge these days. So when they do actually get there, a bunch of keywords probably won't help convert to a phone call.
 

Ralph

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Colin, I agree you have to be a bit careful. However, if you are going to accurately describe what a business does in detail and have more than 200 characters available it's much easier to do, and the keyword phrases that describes the business and the services it provides will automatically be in the description.
 

Colan Nielsen

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LOL @Colan we noticed the increase in description options but how many people are going to read that much?

One of the things we found useful (in other listings with longer character/description capacity) is to write the description and then highlight and bullet specific services, followed by the about description for the personnel.

It gives the advantage of being both SE and human friendly with a bit of the personal touch with the personnel that always tends to be missing.
 

Linda Buquet

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Keep in mind that the longer your description is, the further a potential customer needs to scroll down to see your reviews.

Also the longer your description is, the more rope Google gives you to hang yourself with!!!

Another place to add keywords!
I just got off the phone with Google support discussing the guidelines for the business description. I was told that there are no guidelines...

There are a bunch of unwritten rules for descriptions, that if violated trip a ranking penalty!
A BUNCH!
Google just will not come right out and tell you what they are. But KW and city repetition are 2 of the biggies.

Give a business owner 5000 characters and I guarantee it will be filled with problems. Many of them just can't think of what to say, but feel like if they have all that space they should think of SOMETHING to fill it up with and it ends up looking like this.

Joe's Plumbing is the leading Plumber in Atlanta. If you are looking for a good Atlanta Plumber, call us for all your Atlanta plumbing needs. We offer, Toilet Plumbing. Leak Detection. Water Heater Repair... on and on blah, blah, blah.

Right there - 10 point ranking penalty or worse - maybe will rank #46.

My description philosophy: Give them the sizzle - not the steak. This is not the place to try to tell the whole story about your business. Give them just enough and the RIGHT STUFF to get them to your website OR pick up the phone and call you.

I like to use psychological triggers. People make decisions emotionally - not logically. So get inside their head and figure out what they really want when searching for this type of business.

Does someone searching for a Dentist want a filling or root canal? No they want to look better and feel better. And they want a gentle Dentist. So talk about that. (But make it short and tight.)

Does someone searching for a plumber want the leak fixed? Yes. But what else do they want? Fast, on-time service? Dependability? A name you can trust - family owned business serving the local area for over 20 years?

Does someone searching for a personal injury attorney really want to see another long laundry list of "the services we offer: keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3" which is what most listings feature. If you do the same, how does that set you apart? I'd do something like:

?Is this the most painful time in your life? We understand and we'll fight for you. If you want an attorney that listens, cares and will get the job done, let's talk about how we can help you get the settlement you deserve. We've been serving the local area for 20 years and have a 92% success rate. Call or visit our site today to see how we can help you too." (Or something like that - and don't forget that call to action!)

My 2 cents on descriptions... :)
 
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