Archive for October, 2008

A First Step to be Found Online — Google Local Business Center

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

A first blog post can be a little intimidating, especially for a new business owner.  Plus, I have so many things I’d like to blog about, that I wasn’t sure where to begin!  But I found a list that I’d jotted down a while ago titled “Small Business First Steps to be Found Online”, and the first item on my list makes for a very good first blog topic — “Google Local Listings”.

Registering your website with Google Local Business Center will increase the chances of a searcher finding your product or service if they are in your geographical area.  For example, if someone is looking for a dentist and they google “dentist pittsburgh”, they will find a short list of 10 dentists who have registered their dentistry business with Google, in addition to the 10 search results that appear on the first page.  This is how the search results will look:

If someone simply googles “dentist”, they will find only search results of websites about dentists or for dentists, but not a listing of dentists in their area.  That page will look like this:

Google local listings are different from submitting your URL to Google, and a separate registration is required.  I recommend doing both right away: Register your business with Google Local Business Center and add or submit your URL to Google.

When you register with Google Local Business Center, you will need to verify your business either by phone (you must call using your business phone line to verify your listing) or your business mailing address (you must verify your listing through your business postal address.)

Do not expect your listing to appear automatically — sometimes it takes Google several days to update its records, or sometimes even weeks.  Typically, it should take 3-4 days.

Equally important: submitting your URL to Yahoo! and registering with Yahoo! Local Listings.

When you submit your site, be sure to use the appropriate keywords in the company description!  Otherwise how will Google know what type of business your have?  They won’t, and therefore will not be able to list your site when someone is searching for your product or service.

You can also place an image (your logo) in  your listing, offer coupons, and add a video through Google Local Business Center.

One of my clients grew her business by 30% after registering her business with Google Local Business Center.  You can not afford to miss the opportunity — did I mention it’s free?