How To Set Up Google Local/ Place/ Maps

The Benefit of Google Maps

Appearing in Google’s local search results can be immensely beneficial to most businesses. Especially small hyper-local businesses, who gain from the online equivalent of passing trade. Someone could be in your area, round the corner for instance, looking for exactly what you sell or provide. That person uses their smart phone to Google “…in Your Street” and if you’re set up correctly you will be at the top of their list of results. You are encouraging an easy sale and who doesn’t like an easy sale?

The question is, what’s the most efficient route to maximum opportunities? Sit back and relax while I take you there.

Google Local

First, be aware that Google has changed the name of the product so often that I don’t know what to call it anymore – Local, Maps, Places, Business, Whatever. Different names, same thing. Let’s go with ‘Google Local’.

Setting up Google Local is pretty easy and quick. The only downside is the length of time it takes for Google to verify the listing.

In order to do this you will need a Google account. If you don’t have one then create one here. You’ll be using this account for other Google services which we will discuss later in the series.

1. Create A Google Account
2. Enter Business Details
3. Pick Your Business
4. Verify Your Google Local Listing

1. Create A Google Account

If you follow the link above you can start to create a Google account. Click the Sign Up button at the top right of the page. The first page you’ll come across is the Personal Details page.

Create a Google User account

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Enter details into Google user sign up form

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Fill out your details and move to the next stage.

If you’ve not got a Google account you’ll hit a page which will entice you to sign up to Google+. They use clever wording to disguise what they are doing. Ignore it for just now. We will return to it later in the series.

Google will try to get you to sign up to Google+

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2. Enter Business Details

Next you’ll land on the page where you’ve to enter your business details. Google have simplified this process and it’s far easier that it used to be, simply because they want you to sign up to Google+ to develop your business profile.

Google business details form

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Google business listing with service area map

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Fill out these details. Make sure that the map point is in the correct location. Google doesn’t always get this right.

3. Pick Your Business

More often than not, the next page will have other options of similar or closely located businesses. Sometimes it will have your business. This is because someone else set it up before you. If this is the case claim the business. If your business is not there then click ‘none of these match’ and move on to the next stage.

Claim your google local listing

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4. Verify Your Google Local Listing

We are at the end HURRRRAAAAH! It wasn’t that hard, was it? You will see a text box where you enter the recipient’s name. Do that then click. You will see a confirmation overlay showing an example of the verification postcard. This is what Google sends you and inside is your verification pin.

Verification postcard from Google

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Now. You might be thinking ‘Awesome! That’ll be here by the end of the week and I can start earning my place in local listings.’. Wrong! The time it takes for a card to arrive varies greatly. I’ve seen it go from one week to six. Make sure you don’t miss it because you have a long wait on another card.

Easy, eh?

That’s it. Fairly straightforward, eh? The other stages of local optimisation are just as simple. Stay tuned.

Small Business SEO – DIY SEO For Small Businesses

When you’re out and about you tend to meet people from all walks of life, from billionaire bankers to sandwich shop owners (we go out and about in some remarkable places). The former have no interest in what we at Miratrix do for a living, while the latter usually do and bombard us with questions on how to boost their footfall. This article, then, is the first in a series of blog posts dedicated to the little guys, the real heroes of the contemporary economy (so if you’re a billionaire banker, cool your Lear jets for now: we’ll get back to you soon).

Making hyper-local searches super-effective

To be even clearer, the series is designed to help those businesses who’d benefit hugely from hyper-local searches such as ‘cafe in’, ‘restaurants and bars in’ or ‘clothes shop in’.
We decided to create a resource to suit businesses that are small and entirely local; businesses of a scale that cannot justify the cost of hiring a search marketing expert.

If you have a business which you think would benefit from ‘in’ search terms take your laptop or tablet, head to the nearest coffee shop, order a drink and read this. If you own a coffee shop go to a quiet corner and read this.

Contrary to the belief of many who deal with SEO’s (or what you might believe by reading other articles on local searches) the easiest, most influential thing a small business owner can do is not keyword research and calling the developer to update the title tags.

Setting up and claiming local listings will be the first and most effective things a small business can do.

Before you start setting up local directories you will need:

  • Your business info
  • Blurb/back story about your business
  • Photos (don’t have any? Get some!)
  • Videos (if you have them)

What Will We Be Covering?

As I see it, if you cover the bases below you are in good stead to improve your local SEO traffic.

  1. How To Set Up Google Places/Maps/Local – whatever you want to call it
  2. Set up Qype
  3. Set up Google Authorship
  4. Content ideas

These posts are for small business owners who aren’t search savvy. If you are one of those people and are finding trouble with the tutorials please let me know where you are having problems and I’ll amend the posts to make it easier.

Over And Out!