Throughout the week, we receive a multitude of calls regarding Google’s local business results. Everyone is (rightfully) concerned with getting their business listing to the top, in an effort to get even more traffic to their website. If you aren’t familiar with Google’s local business center, you’ve likely seen them at one point or another; both Yahoo! and Bing now provide similar local business results. The benefit of having your business listed in the local business center is invaluable; it provides a quick and easy interface for potential customers to learn more about your business and services, find directions, and write reviews. They are also a great source of website traffic, as the maps stand out prominently on the results page.
When you perform a local search on Google, say “Thai Food Burnside Oregon”, you should notice a map with businesses listed to the right. The algorithms for websites and local business listings is entirely different. This is a great thing for small businesses, as it gives them a much more level playing field against larger companies because of the local business listing structure. Everyone who uses a local business listing gets the same, limited “workable” area. This is a very different approach than website design, in which, a given website could elect to have thousands of pages of quality content — in the local business center you don’t have nearly the amount of control.
Another great benefit to the local business listings is the accuracy of the geo-targeting. Since your business address is listed on a map, the search engine is able to determine the proximity of the results. For business owners who sell services or products that are not shipped, this means that quality, geographically targeted traffic will be directed to your website — qualified customers! By default Google will try to list the five closest local business center listings, and will compensate if their are more or less results.
Setting up a Google Local Business listing is relatively easy; setting up a local business listing correctly is a completely different issue. Google has stringent requirements for the local business listings, which you can review in full here. The key points to take out of these business listings is the following:
Hopefully this article has shed some light on Google’s Local Business Center, its application, and some good (read: mandatory) guidelines to follow. Now that you are familiar with the process, why don’t you jump on over to Google and create a Local Business listing!
Effective Web Solutions is highly knowledgeable when it comes to Google’s local business listings and getting companies to the top of the results. Give us a call today at 888.400.4002 to find out what we can do for you!