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Tips For Advertising on the Google Local Business Center

Any store owner or service provider doing business on a local level will want to advertise his business in the Google Local Business Directory, fondly called the Google Maps. This amazing directory automatically appears, whenever a web surfer initiates a search that includes a product name and a locale. Google then automatically displays a map of the area at the top of page 1 with store location signified by the presence of bright red tear drop shaped arrows projecting out of the map. The local businesses, that provide the service, are listed to the right of the map, with their phone number and address handily displayed.

The local list continues on page 2 and beyond, but business owners have rapidly come to recognize the value of first page listings. Business owners have reportedly been netting huge sums, over 1/4 million dollars annually, from sales generated by top listings on this free directory! With this much revenue at stake, it is no surprise that the competition to get to the top local business search listing has increased dramatically, with many businesses submitting multiple listings, and some store owners using tricks to get ahead.

So how does a businessman, not well versed in computers, get a top listing on this important directory? First of all you have to fill out an application. You need a Gmail account, and an hour or two of free time. If you don’t have Gmail, it only takes 2 minutes to fill out the form. Next you need to search on Google for the Local Business Directory, and open up the site. You then click on the my account link on the upper right hand corner of the screen, and a new page will open up. A large box will prompt you to Add a New Business. When you click on this link, the local business application will appear. Now just go down the list and begin filling in the various boxes.

In addition to basic information about your store location, contact phone number, and store hours, Google will ask you to describe your products and services in 200 characters or less. This information will tell customers who you are, and will also help the computer determine what searches you should be ranked high on, so be as complete as you can in the 200 characters. Google will also ask you to select the categories of business that apply to your company. Additional questions concern your hours of operation, and the forms of payment you accept. You will be able to append videos or photographs to the application, for customers who open up your listing.

At the end of the application, you will have a chance to add additional optional information, of your choice, such as the areas you serve, company specials, and whether or not you provide free estimates. When your registration is completed, you can verify the application through a computerized phone call from Google, or you can request that a 4 digit pin number be sent to you through the mail. Once verified, your listing will appear on the Google Maps, when someone searches for one of your services in your local area.

So how does one, get the best possible listing for his business? The answer is, to provide the search engine with as much information as possible. Take time to answer every question on the form, and do your research ahead of time, so you will be prepared to enter a complete description of your business, which contains the important keywords potential customers will be using to search for your services.

A keyword or key phrase, which accurately describes the service you provide and excel in, is far more valuable than a generic keyword that gets a lot of hits each month, but only loosely applies to the services you are offering. First of all, you are more likely to get high ranking on keywords that are in less demand. Secondly, when a potential customer calls you, he is more likely to do business with you, since your service is exactly what he is looking for. Thirdly, if you’re like most smart businessmen, you probably advertise your specialties in free directories such as Craigs list and Kijis. Once a month, Google spiders the web looking for information about your company, and when they see keywords associated with your business name, that describe your business specialties, then Google is more assured that you actually provide those services, and they will subsequently rank you higher when people search for those specific keywords.

While the best things in life may not come for free, Google Local is proof that sometimes they can and do. Submitting your business to this local directory is well worth the few minutes it will take to do a good job filling out the application. For those needing a little help with their local SEO, Go Local SEO can help.

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