Optimizing Your Google Local Listing

Small businesses have been fighting an uphill battle for years when it comes to internet marketing. As search engines continue to fine tune their algorithms to prevent poor quality search results, it has become harder for everyone who is not an internet marketer (who are constantly trying to adjust) to optimize websites. This has unfortunately left many small businesses out in the cold when it comes to competing online in their local markets. While building a web presence is a marathon, Google provides a service that can occasionally help small businesses rank faster than they normally would. This service is known as Google Local (formally Google Places.)

Google Local provides listing information for local businesses, whether big or small. When internet users search for a product/service plus city name, they receive local search results. These local search results offer small businesses the ability to compete in Google despite the size of their web presence. Occasionally, these Google Local results will begin to appear before traditional website listings.

Accuracy Matters in Google Local

Many factors play into how your Google Local listing is ranked in search results. The algorithm changes often, and no one other than Google knows exactly what plays into making a listing rank well. We do know, however, that accuracy and consistency across the web about your business play a major role in Google Local. Whether you claim and build your Google Local listing or TrustWorkz® does it for you, it’s important that the listing is completed 100%. Over the past year, this process has confused many small business owners. Google has been busy integrating their social network, Google Plus, with Google Places (Local). As they transitioned to Google Local, many things became unclear with changes made to local listings.

Earlier this week, Google Local began to roll out new and improved changes to their Google Local editor. These updates were major improvements for users trying to keep track of their local listings.

Google Local Updates

Updates to Google Local

The updates made to Google Local help the user clearly understand what information is missing from the listing, what might be holding up an update in Google’s approval process, and where you can maximize other retailing opportunities on the page. Small business owners can take advantage of Google Local listings by properly claiming their location through Google Plus. Looking back on last year, we are extremely happy about making the decision to make it a best practice of ours to create and maintain Google Plus pages for our clients.

If you’re interested in how your business can take advantage of local internet marketing, contact TrustWorkz® today!

About Kevin Ekmark

Kevin is the President/CEO at TrustWorkz, Inc. He also blogs about marketing and leadership on his personal website. You can follow along or contact Kevin on Twitter via @KevinEkmark or on LinkedIn.