You know what Google Local listings are, right?
I'm sure you've seen the maps before, if not, you can now see it above. These are the local listings, of course occupied by the local listing search results. This specific search term is NYC and the occupation. We blurred out the exact keyword for confidentiality reasons with one of our clients that is ranking #1 in new york city for multiple terms.
The Google+ Local listing will also look like this, in the regular search results.
I once again blurred out information that would give away our client. They are in New York City, you can see where the street address would be, city, phone number, website, and the cool thing is you can see reviews if they have them. Many people end up calling the listings before even going to their website, so being optimized for this, is very important. Our client in New York City is getting THOUSANDS of searches a month, and ranking #1.
Now, when you click on reviews, or a link that says "Google+ page", you will be take to something like the following. This picture is of a Google Local listing in Houston Tx.
As you can see, information is filled out, they have a lot of reviews, it shows a map, lists the hours of operation and is in front of thousands of searchers each and every month. What could getting YOUR business in front of that many people, mean for you? Could it change your life? Could it give you a nice cushion?
To top it off, I'm going to give you the 4 major steps in ranking, just like these businesses are. This is something you can do for yourself, we even offer this service but I want to equip you with knowledge to be able to do it yourself if you wish!
1.) Claim and Fully Fill Out Your Listing
You need to claim your page if it is listed already, but if it isn't, you can create one. Some users have the original "Google Places" to create new places, and others are using the actual Google+ Local. It is very simple, you sign up for Google+, create your company page at https://plus.google.com/pages/create
What you need to do, is completely fill out your page. You need to have the maximum amount of pictures, even videos if possible. Fill out your hours, address, everything they ask and more! A fully filled out listing has an advantage over those that aren't.
Key Tip: When it asks you for categories, always use the categories Google will suggest. Fill out the MAX fields of categories.
2.) Claim your OTHER listings
These are also called citiations. These are directory sites that you list your business on. It is very important for you to list your business name, address, phone number, and website in the EXACT same format as you did in Google+. You don't want any difference. These sites, you also want to fill out the listing in its entirety. These citations help increase your Google Local ranking. For more information here click to see our other recent blog post on local listing optimization
Related Reading: Local Business Listing Optimization is the Key For Easy Leads!
3.) Your Website Needs To Be OPTIMIZED!
You need to have a website, but you also need to have an optimized website. Google+ Local is using your website to judge on how it should rank your local listing. Make sure the keywords you target in your listing, you are also optimized for on your website.
On page optimization is very important in ranking organically, as well as in the maps / local listings.
Related Reading: Most Important Aspect Of SEO
4.) REVIEWS REVIEWS REVIEWS!
You can have reviews posted on your Google Local page, and I would highly recommend using this to your advantage. This helps increase your local listing rank, but it also increased the likelihood of others CLICKING on your listing when it is ranking. Even if you aren't ranking #1, if you have a considerable amount of reviews and the one listing above you DOESN'T, who do you think the searcher is going to click on? The one with reviews. Why? Social proof!
Reviews will help with your overall online reputation, but also with your ranking, and conversions, assuming they are good!
There you have it, just a basic crash course for you DIY'ers. If you have any questions or comments, let us know below! Keep checking our blog for more updates, and specific how-to's and guides for in depth information on expanding the visibility of your business.