Google local listing has become a major element in Search Engine Optimisation. This is especially true for small businesses trying to attract customers only from their region. Google for a while now has been showing a map with local results before the organic listings even start, and many businesses seem to be overlooking ways they can improve these listings.
I am going to show you some useful tips to help with your Google local listings and incresase your businesses visability within your trading area.
These results are different to the standard organic listings or pay per click results. They primarily appear at the top of search results page when a user searches for a service followed by a specific town or city. A map of the area with around 7 businesses will be shown along with the URL and phone number of each business.
For example a search for ‘Restaurants Liverpool’ shows the following:
How to optimise your listing
If you are a business and wanting to market you products or services to your local community you should be listing you company on the Google Local Business Centre.
The following is a list on how to optimise your Google Local Business Centre listing to increase your ranking and visability, keeping in line with Google’s policies.
Before you start optimising your listing you need to verify ownership of you business. The Google Local Business Centre will send you a pin to your mobile phone or via post as part of the verification process. Once you have recieved your pin you will need to enter it under your account details in the Local Business Centre.
After your website has been verified your listing will go live and you will be able to edit and update it. You will need to register a Google account before you do this but you can get started here: Google.Co.Uk/LocalBusinessCentre.
Businesses who have completed the entire form and tick all the relevant boxes are given preference. These include the payment types you accept, opening / closing times and the inclusion of images / video. Your completion rate is shown at the top right of the screen.
You are given 200 words for a description of your business. I would advise to be as detailed as possible within this limit. Try and include atleast one of your Keywords within the description, however don’t over do it and stuff your title or description full of keywords. Engage the reader and explain the different services that your business offers.
Including your main Keyword within the title is very important but ensure that the keywords fit naturally.
When prompted try and inlclude upto 5 catagory listings for your business. Start with a primary catagory that your customers will search for, the remaing catagories should be describe your other services that your business offers.
This will help by giving you more opportunities in appearing in search results, reaching more potential customers.
If you are a business that has only one physical location then you should only have one listing. The same is true if you have muliple business locations, you should have one listing per location. It is also recomended that you include the local number to your business rather than a 0845 or 0800 number.
These are a few steps in ensuring the best chances or appearing in the local search results. By following these guidlines you could have an advantage over your competitors.
Content courtesy of SEO Consult