Many businesses serving local areas get good results by getting into the map listing that appears for some localized searches. If you have a business that is physically located in an area which it services, you can start this process by claiming your listing in Google Maps and complete, in as much detail as possible, your Google Business listing.
It is important to ensure your address, phone numbers and other contact information is accurately displayed as text on your website. Use your area code in your phone number too. The Google robots will want to see this contact information so there is no harm in having it on every page, you can always find a way to include it without taking away from your other content or interfering with your site design.
Ensure the same contact info appears in other directories like Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, Whitepages, etc. It is important to ensure the same contact info appears consistently across all directories, as this will help signal to Google that the information is accurate. This sort of ‘cross reference’ is known as a citation, and the more you have, the greater the chances of getting into the seven listings Google often shows on results pages for local searches.
To get started on your Google My Business page, first try going to http://maps.google.com/ and search for your business. Then follow the links for business owners to lay claim to and edit those listings and complete as much as possible before updating your info in the other directories.
If your business is not already visible in those maps pages, then go to Google My Business and follow the instructions for setting up an account there.
Make sure your listing is as complete as possible by uploading some photos and videos (if you have them), as well as entering business hours and other related information. Then make sure that same info is used consistently in the other directories where you business is listed. You will need to verify you really are the owner, but Google makes this a very simple process. You can have a PIN code sent to your phone or to your address by postcard. This PIN is entered into your Google My Business account to complete the process.
Google My Business allows your customers to leave reviews of your business. This can also help to boost your chances of making it into the top seven. Businesses that have some customer reviews do tend to appear in the top seven more than others. Therefore, we would certainly advise you to encourage your customers to leave a review if possible.
To sum it up:
1. Find your business on Google.
2. Claim your business (or create a business page).
3. Completely fill out the information about your business.
4. Verify your business.
5. Request reviews!!
Contact WSIX Media at (832) 713-7950 for more information on this topic or to ask questions about other customer-generating strategies.