It really is that easy… I own a few small brick and mortar businesses and I’ve done it… Even better, I even got my business to the top listing for most of the important keywords that I’d expect my customer’s to be searching for… But I’m not being completely upfront about the difficulty of this task. In reality, it took me less than 10 minutes of to get my business to the top Google search listing for my first chosen set of keywords.
I’ll save the time of explaining the value and importance of getting to the top of Google listings with the details of how nearly 80% of all searches are performed on Google and about 2/3 rds of Americans research household products online before purchasing. Instead, I’ll get right into it.
- Go to Google.com
- Type in the keyword you expect your customers to use most often followed by your city and state. For example “hot tubs, springfield, ma”. If you have a yellow pages listing, chances are a listing for your business popped up somewhere on that page as a “Local Business” listing alongside a map displaying where you’re located. If your business doesn’t pop up, you’ll have to login to your Gmail account and go to http://www.google.com/local/add/ to create a listing for your business.
- Click on “More Details” next to your listing.
- Click on “Edit” and a balloon will popup in the map on the left hand side.
- Click on “Edit Details” inside the balloon.
- Now you can update your webpage, phone number, address, and company name, however what’s even more important are the “Places” listed at the bottom. You need to make sure ALL of your crucial keywords are listed in those boxes. Don’t be afraid to group multiple keywords in each box separated by commas.
- Click Preview
- Click Save
I wasn’t keeping exact track of the time, but in between 48 hours and 1 week my business listing went from non-existent to the top (and only listing) for my products in my city. It updated much more quickly in Google Local which you can access from maps.google.com, than it did with Universal Search directly on Google.com. My business is a rather niche business so that helped, however I have no less than a dozen competitors in my city. If you already have competitors who are savvy to this trick (or more likely just have the keywords automatically integrated from their yellow page listings) then you have to get creative and add more and better keywords to your “Places” listing. I couldn’t find out exactly what criteria Google used to sort the Google Local listings, though this blog gave a few useful suggestions. If you know any more about what criteria Google uses to rank search results for Google Local I’d love to know. 🙂
To your online marketing success, Bryan
P.S. I added my businesses to the local Yahoo business listings and move to the top of the search results even more quickly. Even though only about 13% of internet traffic uses Yahoo, it’s still worth the 10 minutes of your time. Just go to local.yahoo.com. Search for your business, click Edit Listing and update your information. You will need to create a Yahoo account if you don’t already have one.