Google is a great source for local business information, and local search is beyond hot, given the growing number of people searching for things on the go using a mobile phone. Local listings appear at the top of many Google results, sandwiched between the top paid ads and the main organic search results, even when not searching from a mobile device.
To make a local page for your business, you will need to create a Google+ profile if you don’t already have one and then sign in to Google+. You won’t show up on the Google maps that come up when you search for local services unless you register with Google+ Local. This is not the same as having your website indexed. For that, you have to register your business with Google+ Local, which is a separate process from having your website appear in the “main” results.
If you really want to be in the top search results, you need to consider at least three of the following:
- Ranking organically in the “main results”
- Being listed and ranking well in Google+ Local (local/Maps)
- Paying per click with Google AdWords and other similar programs
- You need Citations and Reviews (these are two of the keys to Google+ Local listings)
Google pitches Google+ Local to potential customers as follows:
Claim your business on Google and get these features:
- Manage business listing information
- Post coupons and live updates
- Create and manage Circles, start and join Hangouts, and share content like posts and photos
- See how you’re doing with a performance dashboard
Claim your listing at Google+ Local using the following three steps outlined by Google:
- Submit your information, from basic contact information to photos and video.
- Verify your listing by phone or postcard.
- Wait for your listing to appear on Google. In most cases, it shouldn’t take more than 12 hours.