So many of you have probably built a website and maybe have a Facebook page. But your phone is not ringing like you expected.
It’s likely that your competitors are being found online first – ahead of you and your website.
And it’s because they’re listed locally. I’ll show you what I mean:
- Go to Google and type: replacement windows in columbus ohio
- Scroll down past the first 3 listings (those are Pay-per-Click Google ads)
- Review those 6 or 7 listings
- If you click on the main links – you go to their websites
- But, if you click on “Google+ Page” or “Google reviews” it will take you to the companies’ Local Listing
Here’s a screenshot:
All of these companies and their links are there because they have a local listing on Google. Without it… you’re not showing up at the top of the first page when potential customers do a local search for your services!
As you can see, once all the local listings are shown, you get to see the next set of normal websites – in this case, the Angie’s List website.
So, if you only have a website and you don’t have a local listing… you’re not as likely to be found. Do a search for your services, in your local city and state, and see who comes up.
And it’s the same situation when dealing with the other two major search engines: Yahoo! and Bing. They also show the local listings first.
How to Get Your Business Listed Locally
In this post, we’ll cover Google because it’s the most widely-used search engine (but I’ll include links to Yahoo! and Bing and you can set those up as well).
It used to be you had to go to Google’s “Places for Business” but now they’re doing local on their new social media outlet – Google+ Local.
Let’s get started:
- Go to Google+ Local for Business
- If you already have a Google account, click on “Sign In” in the upper right
- If you don’t, click on the “Create a Google+ Page” blue button
- Next, you’ll see a set of icons. Click on the red pin, on the far left, that is for “Local Business or Place“
- You’ll select your Country and enter your Business phone number
- If you’ve already got a listing, you’ll be given a choice to select your company (sometimes Google creates a business page for you – but you can still claim it)
- If there’s no listing, you’ll enter your business address and company information
- After that… follow the instructions from Google until you finish your page
Also, Google gives you some advice on how to optimize your listing. And you, or your website designer, may need to create a specially-sized logo for the page as well as a cover photo.
Next, make sure you click on the “Verify now” blue button at the bottom of your page. Follow the instructions and they’ll send you a postcard in the mail, to your business address, with a PIN number on it. You’ll go to the internet address on the postcard and enter the PIN and this verifies you own it.
Finally – get your customers to review your business! Take a look at the screenshot above again – see how the #1 listing has the most reviews? Google places a lot of importance on reviews and it affects how highly you can rank. Some searchers may pick the very first one they see… so get your good reviews on your local listing!
Follow the same procedures on Yahoo! and Bing: