If you’re an online business with no brick-and-mortar location but still want to be found by buyers in your area, this local SEO post is for you.
Local search results are the first listings people see when searching for a business or service in Google. The closer your business location is to someone searching in your category, the higher up in local results you’ll appear.
If you run your business from your home, or travel to your customers, however, you probably don’t want your home address online. Don’t worry: you can still appear in local search if you follow this simple step-by step to get found faster:
Visit Google.com/places and select “Claim your business listing on Google” to get started.
Here are the fields you’ll have to fill out. First, start with your basic information. Be sure to pay attention to the required fields – and don’t freak out when you see that address is required.
Once you fill out that section, your business’s location should appear in the Google Map on the right hand side. Again, don’t freak out! We’ll take care of that in the next option.
The next field is “Service Areas and Location Settings.” Select “Yes, this business serves customers at their locations” to get the option to not show your business address on the Maps listing and check the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” box.
Then select how your service area will be specified, either through a distance from a location point, or through a list of locations (towns, zip codes, etc.) to provide an alternate way for Google to classify you locally.
The rest of the fields are as easy as pie. My suggestion is to fill out absolutely every field here. The more the information the better; leaving out hours of operation, payment options and photos can leave a searcher feeling incomplete and looking for a listing with more information.
After clicking the Submit button at the bottom of this page, Google will give you a few options to validate your listing – they do this to verify the information you’ve given them.
Google Places for Business is also going through changes and your local listing can now be found on Google +, which makes it easy for people to review and share your business with others. You can stay up to date on those changes by signing up here.