If your business is local – you need local search results
If you don’t know it by now, Google gives different search results based on where you search from. I search for a dry cleaner in Seattle – Google gives me Seattle results. When I get home, the search will show dry cleaners in Anchorage.
Google’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, pointed out that “near me” searches have doubled over the past year. That’s a huge opportunity to promote your walk in traffic.
Google’s Tools for local search are hidden in plain sight
Where does Google get the information for their local search? How do you end up on a map result? These listings come directly from information that you submit to Google My Business.
Yep, I know- 1 more damned thing you need to do. But this is the single most important step you can take to get your business on Google Maps.
Google insists that it takes 10 minutes to sign up. That’s true if you spend 30 minutes to prepare.
Put together a file which contains your business logo and a few photos. Google suggests a minimum of 3 inside and 3 outside. If you don’t have any, pull out your phone and take them now. (You can always get better photos later)
Figure out what information needs to be on your listing: Hours? Parking? You are talking to local customers so speak their language.
Copy and paste the important links to your website into a text file so that you enter them correctly.
Write a nice introduction. Remember that people might read it!
Go to: https://www.google.com/business/ and sign up.
You’re not quite done. Don’t forget to verify your business with Google. Google will offer you three options: postcard, phone or instant (for select businesses). If you don’t follow through, Google won’t list you.
If you play by Google’s rules they will reward you.
Google wants its index to be the best. The more you tell them, the better they are. It’s in their best interest to help you succeed.
If I had to pick one social media stream – this is the one I choose. Fill in all the little boxes, upload photos, keep your page up to date and you grow customers – not followers or fans.
Once you’ve jumped through the hoops you’re business is on the local map.
*Hey! I’ll be in Seattle next week for the big SMX Advanced Conference. Check back often. I plan to live tweet (@jomariet) and blog at least daily!