Improving Your Website's Ranking for Local Search Results (Google Maps)

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Tuesday, 22 November 2011
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Many Clients have expressed interest in improving their rankings in the local results listing that often appears at the top of search results. An earlier post I wrote covered adding your website to the local results listing, and so this post will hopefully shed some light on improving your rankings. The things you can do break down into a couple different categories:

  • Completing your Google Local Business Centre profile
  • Getting your website listed and mentioned on other websites and directories

 

Completing Your Google Local Business Centre Profile

If you haven't already done so, the first step is to claim your website in Google's local business centre and complete the verification process. You'll then want to fill in as much of your profile as possible including adding photos/videos, selecting the appropriate categories, using keyword-rich description text and more. Be sure to ask your Clients to review your business under your local business centre listing too!

1-800 numbers are great, but your local business centre listing is not the place for them. It's important to use a phone number with a local area code in your local business centre listing as this is one of the factors Google checks. Also, ensure that your phone number on your profile matches your phone number on your website. If you have a Yellowpages listing, it should match there too!

To summarize the steps to completing your profile:

  • Claim, verify and update your profile
  • Upload photos and videos to your profile
  • Request that your Clients complete reviews of your business under your listing

 

Getting Your Website Listed and Mentioned on Other Websites and Directories

Google will also comb through the web and keep track of mentions of your business on other websites and directories. These mentions will be listed under your local business listing. The more mentions in respectable places (spam sites won't count for much!) your business receives, the better your ranking will likely be.

Where are these places you might ask? Carrie Hill at SearchEngineLand.com has a great article on them and so I direct you to her article at http://searchengineland.com/secret-sauce-leverage-outside-listings-to-help-local-rankings-41905 for more detail. A few of the places she mentioned include:

  • Flickr Galleries
  • Youtube Channel
  • BOTW.org
  • Review Sites
  • Craigs List
  • User Content

 

I hope this is helpful in your ascent up the rankings. If you have any questions about improving your website's ranking in search engines, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Step by Step: Getting Your Business Listed on Google Maps

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 13 December 2008
in Google Maps 0 Comments

If you've done a search on Google for a particular service in Toronto, you may have "Local Business Results" at the top of the search results:

Google Maps at the top of a Google search listing

Wouldn't it be nice if your business was listed on here to? (for the appropriate search of course)

Not only is getting your business listed on Google's Local Business Center free, but the "Local Business Results" appear above the normal search listing! There is one slight potential drawback: the map centers in the center of a city. Businesses located on the edges of a city may get reduced exposure.

Sound good? Simply follow the steps below to list your business:

Step 1: Go to Google's Local Business Center website and login or create an account as necessary. After you're logged in, click the button labeled “Add New Business”.

Google Maps login screen

Note: if you don't see the “Add new business” button, click the link “Add new listing”. You'll see "Add new listing" rather than "Add new business" if you've already created a Google Local Business Center account in the past with your email address.

Add New Listing button on Google Maps

Step 2: Enter your business's basic information.

Google Maps company information form

You'll notice once you've added your address the map on the right will zoom to your location. Click next when you're ready to proceed.

Google Maps company information form zooming in on business location in the right side map

Step 3 (Optional): If your listing already exists, you may see the screen listed below. Click “Claim Listing”. This will allow you to change the listing details.

Screen shown if a business matching the information you entered already exists on Google Maps

You may now edit your listing information or suspend the listing.

Edit or suspend the existing business listing on Google Maps

Step 4: Enter detailed information about your business including your businesses category, services or products offered (using either the Categories or Additional Details areas), hours of operation, accepted payment methods, your logo under the Photos section and more. You may also associate a video with your listing if you've uploaded a video about your business to Youtube.

Google Maps complete company information form

Step 5:After submitting your business information, Google will now ask you to verify your listing. You have three options:

  • phone
  • sms
  • mail (snail mail)

I find the phone option to be the easiest and most convenient.

Google Maps at the top of a Google search listing

Step 6: Using the phone option, Google will call you using an automated message service. You have the option of being called now or in five minutes. Click whatever option suits you. Google will then display a PIN (personal identification number) on screen. You will be asked to enter that PIN on your phone's touchtone pad when Google calls. If you selected “Call Me Now”, you may expect to be called very promptly – usually within 10 seconds. Answer the phone, push 1 and then enter your PIN followed by the pound sign (#).

Google Maps - call now or call later to verify your listing

Step 7: Congratulations! Upon successful completion of the call, your business should be listed on Google Maps within 1 business day.

Success! Listing was successful and should be up within 1 business day.
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