Google Local Listings are a type of business profiles for local listings to be accessed easily on the search engine or even Google Maps. Google tries to offer its users results that match user intent, and in the case of local businesses, that usually means the location and contact information.
Before these profiles, potential customers would type in their query in the search engine, and have to click on each link in the results to find the information they were looking for. This is a good strategy for users who need to find out more about your business, but some may be ready to get in touch faster. So, Google My Business listings are a way to help users take action faster.
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What Are the Benefits of These Listings?
Let’s consider how an average user may search for local businesses. If a person types ‘coffee shops near me’, chances are they are not just curious about the number of coffee places near their location. They intend to have a coffee in the near future, perhaps even immediately.
Through these local listings, users can access all the information they need to decide whether they should visit a small business without needing to enter a website and find that information through your pages. A listing on Google usually contains:
- Business hours
- Service area
- Phone number and other contact information
- Other business information relevant to your business (such as a reservation link)
Thanks to all this information being on hand, the person who searches for your business can make a decision quickly. Instead of a list of links, Google will feature business listings in a local pack format, with previews for each listing.
For instance, they can see your business is open right then and there, and not have to call to confirm. They can also see that you don’t accept a walk-in, and quickly call to make a reservation.
A listing on Google also helps improve your SEO efforts. The more information Google has about your business, the better chances you have of being included in local search. This is because Google will know you are a real business and will include you in local Google search results, especially if your business profile is active.
Through a business profile, you will also be searchable on Google Maps. Some users may access the maps app to find various services around them, in which case they can see a pin with your exact location. When they click on your pin, they get all your business information on hand, through the app.
How to Set up a Listing
These business profiles can help local businesses tremendously. In some cases, if you’ve used the service before, you’ve probably seen some unofficial listings or unverified information. This is because Google allows its users to add information in an attempt to keep its services updated, but it cannot always verify if the information is real or not.
This can mean businesses have a listing, but the listing is not exactly accurate. This is why it’s best to take a hands-on approach and ensure people can find your business easily, and that your profiles have accurate information.
Setting up or reclaiming a profile is also made very simple:
Create a Profile
Sign into your Google Account, or create one, and visit the Google My Business site and click ‘Get Started’. There, you will be asked to provide more information, such as where your business is located, the types of service you offer, and contact information.
Claiming a Profile
If you already have a profile, sign into Google My Business and select ‘Add your business’. There, you can search for the existing profile and reclaim it as your business.
Your profile will have to be verified before you can start using it, either by email, phone, or even postcard. You can choose which type of verification you want under the ‘Verify now’ tab.
Over to You
Having a Google My Business listing is only a small portion of what your SEO strategy should contain to generate results.
Australian Internet Advertising is the Google Partner that can help Sydney business owners with their SEO efforts. Through our personalised and unique strategies, you can improve your business’s local search ranking, and truly tap into local audiences to convert them.
Get in touch with us online to find out more about how we can help, or call our SEO team at 1300 304 640 for a quick chat.