With Google these days there are many different types of ads displayed to you whenever you do a search. All searches will still get you your regular organic search results with the addition of sponsored ads running along the top and right hand side.  If the search is geo-specific, you will also see a group of local search results. These local search results are becoming more and more popular as we move into the future and are occurring more on mobile devices now more than ever. Just take a look at the predictions below for the next 4 years for the projected increase in the local search market.

This makes it the perfect time to get your piece of the local search action, and how to do it you ask; Google Places for Businesses.

Google Places for Business is Google’s platform which allows business owners to take control of their Google place page for any changes needed to the information such as the buisness address, phone number, store hours, to include pictures, etc. to provide as much information as possible about your business.

The first thing you need to start being listed in those localized search results in Google is to take control of your Google place page. To claim your Google place page for your business you must sign into your Google account, and then click on ‘List My Business’. After you enter the phone number for the business Google will try to locate information about your business to auto fill the fields on the next screen. While adding information about your business, be sure to fill out as many details as accurately as possible to better distinguish yourself from your competitors.  To finalize the process you must verify your listing either by phone or by mail (which will take 3-4 weeks), with a PIN number that will be provided. Then, once verified, there will be a short 1 to 2 day waiting period before you should be able to see the updated details on your place page.

Now that you have control over the Google place page for your business, the next step is to start optimizing your account giving you the best chance at being listed in the localized results for your specified keywords. Keyword research is usually the first area we start with for new clients here at StepForth to make sure we are targeting the localized keywords for our client that actually get the most search volume. The Google Keyword Tool is still a great tool when researching the local keywords for your business while being able to see the local and total search volume estimates. Once you have  2-3 keywords picked out, make sure you use them for details on your Google place page, without overdoing it. Choosing the most appropriate business categories will also better optimize your place page by giving as much relevance as possible.

Most importantly when optimizing your Google place page for local search, be sure that your address is 100% accurate, as well as you are using your local phone number as opposed to a 1-800 number. These are the local factors that Google uses most in their local search algorithm for displaying local results. Also be sure to include more than 1 or 2 photos, videos, recent events, or information about special offers you may be having. All of these additional details add to the ranking factors that Google uses when listing your business.

Starting off with claiming and optimizing the Google place page for your business is the best way to start seeing your business show up in Google’s local search results. StepForth offers this service as one of our many online marketing services at very comparable rates. Be sure to contact us today to setup a time for a chat regarding your Google Places Buisness account.