There’s a huge shift to thinking “local” and helping business connect with their audience. More people than ever are using the search engines to find the business they want locally and hey, that makes sense. Its how people are using the search engines you need to know.
Did you know that, according to Google, one in every five searches is related to location in some way? Hey, we want to shop close to home. It’s no wonder that Google has put a lot of effort into enhancing their local search listings.
Many businesses that show up in these business listing results don’t even have a website. So getting this right will literally put you “on the map”. Click here to find out what you need to do to claim or update your Google Places listing. It’s a very cool tool.
First up log in to your Google account. Look for ‘Google Places’ instead of ‘Business Listing’.
If you haven’t set up or claimed your business listing do a search in Google Maps and click on your business if it’s listed. If you haven’t claimed your Place Page yet, click the link that says “Business Owner” and then click the “Edit my business information” button on the next page. Now you can fill in all the information on the form.
If you have a retail operation and want to show off you can even load photo’s and video’s. Be sure that one of the pictures is your company logo!
There is a very cool new tool and ability to post messages to your Place Page. This is great if you have an upcoming event or any special message you want to tell people about. Its SMS size at 160 characters and it will show for 30 days unless you delete it sooner. You can post URLs that will become clickable links too (but you can’t use HTML code).
Spend the time to check and update the description field for your website. This is where you want to add your main keyword phrases where they make sense to do so. Don’t try to add keywords to your company name, however. It’s been done to death by spammers and it’ll only get you in trouble with Google rather than helping.
You can and should add the maximum 5 categories to your listing because what you choose there can help your site show up when people are searching using similar words. An important point is you don’t have to stick with the categories Google recommends, you can make up new ones. Maybe do some Google Maps searches and check out what the competition is doing.
Google even provide “Top Search Queries” results. What terms is your business listing, now Google Places, actually showing up for? Wonder no more, here’s Google’s take – “The top Google search queries for which your business listing appeared, along with the number of times users saw your business listing in the search results for those queries.”
Make sure you check back in to your listing every month to check your “top search queries” statistics.
Even if you don’t have a shop front I strongly recommend you create or enhance your Google Place Page listing anyway.
These local listings are showing in more and varied ways in the Google search results, well beyond just Google Maps. With all the effort that Google has been putting in you can expect these listings to gain even more impact. Anything that Google invest time and money in are well worth getting behind because the big winner is you.
Check out the video –