Google Local Business listings are completely FREE and they promote your business for various keyphrases in your local area. They also push your business name and they include a map and contact details. But many businesses do not take advantage. SearchVista deploy managed local business centre listings routinely for all SEO clients.
Google Local Business Centre
Optimisation for Google Local Business – is about providing as much information as possible about your business. The more info you produce, the more local directories you request, the better the quality of the data uploaded in terms of SEO and sales value, the better.
– Only business owners or authorised representatives may claim business listings on Google Maps.
– It is important, if multiple users will be updating the listing, to use a general email address for the listing (eg firstname.lastname@example.org). And always use an email address within the main business domain. Don’t use a gmail or hotmail address unless that’s all you have – they don’t engender confidence in consumers.
Submit Your Listing
1. Visit the Google Local Website. You’ll need to make a Google account if you don’t already have one.
2. Log in to the Local Business Centre.
3. On the Local Business Centre homepage, click Add new business.
4. Fill out the basic information about your business:
– Company: This is the official/registered name of your business. The business name on Google Maps must be your full legal business name.
– Address (required): The address should look exactly the way you’d write it on an envelope. If your business services several areas, you can create one listing under a PO Box. Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
– Phone Number (required): Make sure you include the area code with your phone number.
– Website: Provide your main website URL. Do not provide URLs that redirect users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business.
– After clicking Next, you’ll =have the opportunity to provide the following:
* CATEGORIES: Enter several categories to describe your business, to make it easier for others to find when they search Maps. Google will automatically suggest categories as you type. You can enter up to 5 categories for your business and by using Custom Categories you can ensure that all of the relative keywords to your business are covered within a category.
* HOURS OF OPERATION: Select your hours of operation using the dropdown menus. This is optional but there is probably no reason not to include business hours.
* PAYMENT OPTIONS : Check the boxes next to the payment methods accepted by your business.
* PHOTOS: Use the photo uploader to add up to 10 images to your listing.
* VIDEO: To add a video, upload it to YouTube and enter its URL. You can add up to 5 videos to your listing.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Use this section to add your own specific business information. This is another opportunity to add relevant keywords for SEO purposes.
5. You can see your listing as it will appear in Google Maps on the right side of your screen, and new information will appear as you enter it. When you’re happy, click Submit at the bottom of the page.
6. Google now need to verify that you are the actual business owner. Choose how you would like to verify your listing and click Finish. Google allows a maximum of 100 listings per account for manual verification.
If you select Verification by Phone, you’ll receive an automated phone call during which you will be given a PIN that can be entered into your Local Business Centre account.
If you select Verification by Postcard you will receive your PIN on a Google postcard which you can then use to verify your business listing in the Google Local Business Centre. It generally takes 10 business days for a postcard to arrive. Note that you can only receive a PIN at the business address you’ve submitted to Google Maps.
Once you have entered your pin, your listing will normally appear in Google Maps within the following 12 hours.