If you run a local business and you haven’t claimed your local business listing on the three mainstream search engines (Google™, Bing™, and Yahoo!®), then read on. Claiming your listing is free and easy to accomplish.
So why should you do this?
Search engines like Google are committed to making the search for local goods and services as efficient as possible. As a valuable part of the Google Maps feature, a local business listing is an expansion of the search results that people get when they’re looking for an electrician or sushi bar, for example, in their neighborhood. The local listing in the screenshot below came up for the following search: “tax filing Maple Grove MN.”
Google may have already created a local listing for your business based on the existing information it has about your business and the third-party information that the search engine was able to collect. When you claim your listing, you’re actually verifying that the listing belongs to you. All three search engines have specific verification steps, which can generally be done by phone or postal mail confirmation. (For more details, read our article on How to Claim or Add Your Local Business Listing on Google Maps.)
Claiming your business listing also ensures that only you control the content of the listing. We’ve heard of people who have claimed listings that do not belong to them in an attempt to misrepresent a competitor or divert customers to their own business.
Once you’ve claimed your listing, you should verify that all of the information is correct—and make any necessary corrections. You should also explore the options that are available for customizing the information in your listing and promoting your business. You’ll find options for including maps and directions, hours of operation, logos and photographs, and much more. And just like with your website content, we recommend that you keep your local business listing fresh and current.
Search engine listings provide a valuable means of driving local customers to your business—and to your website. Few things in life are free, so it’s nice to have a free tool that can improve your overall Web presence, including your website traffic, your estore sales, and your SEO campaign results.
The listings also provide valuable features for tracking search results, listening to your customers, and offering them discounts. For example, with the built-in dashboard reports that come with your local listing, you can monitor the keywords customers use to find you, the parts of town that generate the most searches, and the number of daily visitors who see your listing. Customers can also rate their experience with your business and write reviews. And you can offer printable coupons as well as other special promotions to your customers.
Ready to get started today? Just use the following links: