Why every business should have a FREE Google Local Listing!

Posted by Lisa Watson on April 27th 2012 in Online Marketing

Did you know that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online?

When search is carried out for a particular type of business within a specific location, Google often provides a map or list of where they can be found near the top of its search results page. What many businesses don’t realise is that unlike Google’s paid Pay Per Click (often referred to as PPC) service, getting your business listed here is absolutely FREE. Read on to find out more about how your business can take advantage of this fantastic service provided by Google. To start, you need to check whether or not your company has already been added to Google Local Listings. You can do this by visiting Google Places, where you will need to sign up for a Google Account. Once you have signed up you will be asked to provide details to check whether Google holds existing records for you. If your business is already listed you will be able to access and edit the details that are already held. However, if your business is not found then you will be asked to add your details so that a new listing can be created. The entire process should only take 15 – 30 minutes to complete. In both circumstances you will be asked to verify the location of your business using your postcode or a contact. We have provided screenshots below to take you through the process. Step 1: Sign up

Step 2: Search for your business using your phone number

Step 3: If your details are already listed you can now edit them

If your details are not already listed you can now add them

When adding in the details of your business it is important to consider carefully what you write in each of the sections. To help, we have put together the following guide with our top tips!
  • Title: When filling in the title it’s important to avoid just reeling off the name of your business. Try to modify it so that you can incorporate a word or phrase that someone might be using in their search.
  • Address: You should be as descriptive as possible when it comes to entering your address, e.g. spelling out ‘Street’ instead of ‘St’ will help find your exact location. If this still doesn’t work then you can correct the location by dragging the marker into position on the map.
  • Web page: This is one element that is absolutely essential and surprisingly often overlooked by a business. Always make sure you provide a link to your website so that customers can be taken straight into the heart of what your business is about.
  • Phone numbers: Don’t just fill in one main contact number if you can help it. If you have different departments with separate numbers, add them in. This will not only save the customer’s time, but also help ensure that staff are not spending time talking to individuals that are hoping to speak with someone in a different department.
  • Categories: There are 5 categories that you can place your business in. Choose each of these carefully as they play a vital part in what search results your business is listed in.
  • Photographs & Videos: This is the perfect way to make sure your business stands out. Videos and photographs breathe life into an otherwise boring listing, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. The more you add, the more Google has to invest in storing your data, which means they are going to want to push your listing up the rankings.
  • Reviews: Testimonials from clients are one of the best ways to gain credibility in a business. A positive review will help remove any element of doubt, which might be in the mind of a potential customer. Encourage your customers to leave feedback by offering them an incentive in return. Remember, the more positive reviews you have, the more Google will want to promote your business.
  • Upcoming Events: Don’t miss out on that extra opportunity to engage your audience. Adding upcoming events and promotions will not only allow you to stand out from your competitors, but will offer your customers further incentive to get in touch with you.
Looking to push your online presence even further? Then we would love to hear from you. Call one of our team on 01392 667766 for more information or to arrange an informal meeting over a cup of coffee. In the next few months we will be bringing you a series of online videos and blogs to help guide you through making the most of your online presence. In essence, we’re practicing what we preach because it works – so stay tuned. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Facebook so that we can keep you up-to-date each time a new blog is posted!
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