Placing your business into Google’s Local Business Center is important and can give your company increased web exposure. For more information about how to do this, please see my previous blog post about Google’s Local Business Center.
After you’ve listed your business, you will want to do you best to optimize that listing. Unfortunately, optimizing a listing in the LBC isn’t as straightforward as “normal SEO.” What to do?
The best advice is to take advantage of every opportunity Google gives you to enter information about your business.
1. Company Information: Fill in your company name, address, phone, e-mail, website and description. The description is a good place to include keywords that you expect searchers to type into a search engine. Be concise, descriptive and accurate.
2. Categories: The first category is the most important – enter one that is already within Google’s system. Just begin typing and let Google offer suggestions. Pick one. Then fill in four more. Yes, complete all five.
3. Hours of Operation: Fill these in.
4. Payment Options: Select a few that are appropriate.
5. Photos: It is a great idea to upload images. They can be pics of your office, your logo, your staffers, or even photos of your work (products). But, the bottom line is Google encourages you to upload photos.
6. Videos: Google loves videos. Google loves YouTube. Figure out how to get a video online, related to either you, your company, your products or your services. It will help.
7. Additional Details: This is a great place to add descriptive phrases about your company. Be sure to include additional keywords that folks might search for. Take advantage of at least five additional details blocks.
Those are the most straightforward steps to follow. There are also three other sections worth mentioning:
8. Coupon: You have the opportunity to create an online coupon. Use it. Besides, the worst thing that happens is you get a call from a potential client.
9. Backlink: Once you’ve got your LBC listing all set, be sure to post a link to it from your website. A new blog post or a link from your contact page is a good way to go about this.
10. Reviews: The Google LBC accepts outside reviews of your company. It accepts a “star rating” (out of five), as well as comments. In order to help optimize your listing and to help stand out from your competitors, it’s worth asking your customers to give you a review in the LBC. The more reviews you receive from outside vendors, the greater the chance that you will perform well in the LBC results and the more your listing will stand out. Of course, you want to be sure to ask folks from whom you expect a favorable review.
There is more to discuss, including the LBC tracking / statistics reports (just released this year), but be sure you tackle the items mentioned above, first!