Jul 15, 2016
A while back I wrote about promoting a local business using Google Places and it is still an essential part of marketing a business on the web.
Places has been updated somewhat and is now called Google My Business and there is now also a dedicated app available (search for Google My Business). The basic idea remains the same; a listing will get your business seen in Google Search, Maps and Google Plus and it is still the most cost effective way to advertise your business on Google - you don’t get any more ‘cost effective’ than free, so get your info out there!
It’s easy, either visit www.google.com/business or install the aforementioned app and enter your details as fully as possible. Use your legitimate business trading name and address, and include your opening times, contact details, etc. Adding some relevant photographs is always a good idea and including your logo, if you have one, will really make your listing pop.
Make sure the information you submit is accurate and honest. It should be consistent with the information you have elsewhere on the Web, including on your own website. Don’t try to ‘game’ Google with excessive keyword phrases or irrelevant information as it won’t do you any favours in the long term and could even get your listing banned.
After you’ve entered your details you will need to verify that you are the genuine business owner which involves entering a unique PIN code which is sent to you automatically as a text message. Once verified your business will start to show up for relevant searches, both for local searches and in mainstream search results. Where you appear in the results will depend on a number of factors but you can help by including plenty of accurate and relevant information, uploading product images and most importantly; getting good reviews from genuine customers who are happy with your service.
Bing have also updated their own local business listings and it is easier than ever to add your own business. Simply visit www.bingplaces.com and follow the same procedure as above, not forgetting to encourage reviews from happy customers.
We all want to promote our businesses and I hope the information here proves that with a little time and effort that in some places it doesn’t even have to cost anything. Local business listings will be familiar to most but I’m willing to bet that not everybody realises just how easy it can be to get their business featured.
There is plenty of information out there about the benefits of local listings and a search will reveal plenty of tips and tricks. For the official information take a look at https://support.google.com/partners/answer/143059?hl=en-GB for Google and https://www.bingplaces.com/Home/MoreFAQ for Bing.
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Tony Williams is the founder of TDL Web Developments and specialises in creating effective and affordable Web solutions for local businesses in Wirral.
Follow on Twitter @tdlwebs