Times have most certainly changed. Gone are the days of searching a phone book or yellow pages to find a local restaurant or business, technology has replaced the need for paper location searches with search engines that have upped their ante through adding local searches. Customers do not want to have to go to various websites to find you; they simple want to search for your business and for your business to appear in the search engine results.
Why is your Business not easily Found on Google?
It is most likely that you have not added your business to Google Places. It is not too late to optimize now.
What is Google Places?
Google Places is a free listing service for your business. It is where you can provide crucial information for people to find you. Add this along side Google Maps and the two become one in the same. Which means that if one of the millions of people who search Google Maps is searching for your business, not only will the Google Map show your location, but because you have filled the information of your business’s details within Google Places, they will also see all of your contact information as well.
7 Steps to Claim your Google Listing
1. Simply log into your Google Account
2. Choose “My Account” located at the top menu
3. From the list of options, choose “Local Business Center”
4. Click on “Add New Listing”
5. Fill out all of the provided spaces regarding your business’s details.
6. Verify that you are the business owner by clicking “verify” and depending on your choice, Google will call you, text you or send a postcard with a specific pin number.
7. Enter the pin number to verify.
10 Steps to Claim an Existing Listing
If you search Google and see that someone has added your business, you can still claim it as a business owner.
Here is how:
1. Search on Google for your business
2. Click on “more info” located next to your business name
3. Click on “Business Owner?”
4. Click on “Add New Listing”
5. Enter the exact same information showing on the existing listing
6. Click “Next”
7. Google will search for matching listings
8. Click on “claim this listing” on the chosen listing
9. Verify that you are the business owner by clicking “verify” and depending on your choice, Google will call you, text you or send a postcard with a specific pin number.
10. Enter the pin number to verify.
How do I Optimize my Google Places Listing?
1. You need to ensure that your business listing is scattered across the web, ones that match your Google Places information will be the most effective.
Google crawls a variety of sites to search for other sites you have shared your listing on, the more the better, since your ranking score on Google will increase dependant on its findings.
2. Add your listings manually (not recommended unless you are an SEO specialist)
3. Use a vendor to optimize your overall SEO
4. Find sites that will list you across the web. (Remembering your Social Networking sites too)
5. Use sites for your business that enable reviews, such as Yelp, CitySearch and others to increase your listing. The reviews that include the name of your business will enhance Google’s efforts in finding it.
In addition, a great way to include your Social Media sites, since people usually post a review attached to a username that already has your business’s name associated to it.
6. Drive traffic, clean up and add SEO to your website to increase your Google Places ranking. This means you need to use other sites (social networks, blogs) and any other source to link back to your website. Update your website and add some basic SEO to help Google properly place you.
The better your site is viewed across the Internet and the more traffic you bring to your listed website, the better your Google Places ranking will be. Be mindful of your link back’s, the higher the quality of the website the better it is for your business’ listing.
If you are already on Google Places or brand new to it, try utilizing the above recommendations and see if your business will be better optimized within local search.
Does your business use Google Places?
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