Listing your business is critical to getting found on Google, especially for businesses offering products and services that searchers are looking for locally. (Wow, now doesn’t that make sense!?!) Even if you don’t have a web site, creating a listing on Google Local is a great way to be found—and it’s absolutely FREE!
There are other “local” services, such as Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. and those are great too, and it would be a good idea to list your business with those as well. However, since at least 65% of internet users utilize Google as their main search tool1, listing your business and web site on Google Local is a priority.
Google has recently changed it’s algorithm for certain search queries and now displays “Local business results” on the first page of it’s organic listings—regardless if the user keys an identifier such as “Charlotte, NC” or “Five Points Raleigh.” Google grabs the IP address of the user’s computer and generates local results. For instance, if you search a generic term like “Brake Mechanic”, Google will display its usual list of the top SEO-optimized web sites, and then about the 4th or 5th item down—above the fold in most browsers—there will be a list of “Local business results for brake mechanic near Hickory, NC (it lists “Hickory” in my search, because I am located in Hickory, NC). Hint: there’s a light blue link to the right of the Local business results that you can click to “Change location.”
This tutorial article details an approach and provides some excellent tips for setting up a Google Local listing. I have referred many people to this approach.
There are several tips to rank higher in the Google Local Listings, which I hope to include in a future article posting. So stay tuned!
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