How to create, manage and optimize local business listings
Updated: Jan 16
In this article we will talk about how to create, claim and verify your Google My Business listing
The Google business page is what appears within the Local Pack in organic searches and in Google Maps. Without a Google My Business page your business will not have a presence in Local Pack or Local Maps results. Check to see if you have an unclaimed business listing. If you do, then claim it and verify it.
If you do not have a Google Business listing, then create a Google Business page by following this link - https://www.google.com/business/
If you are a service area business, then make sure you select “I serve customers at their location”. Then select your service area and/or a service area radius. In both cases make sure that your NAP (Name of Business, Address of Business, Phone number of Business) are correct. It will be crucial
when you start optimizing for local search.
PRO TIP: Use the same Google account that has your website’s Google Analytic and Google Search Console.
How to optimize your business listing
Once your business listing is verified, you can optimize it and start taking advantage of its benefits.
Log into your Dashboard here: https://business.google.com/manage/
Select the Business and click Manage Location.
A proper and detailed business description is key to being a match to the relevant user search queries.
PRO TIP: Don’t skip fields. Try adding as much valuable information about your business as possible. Be thorough. Wrong business hours or fake pictures can harm your business’s reputation.
Refine the category if available. This is one of the most important business descriptions, and allows Google to match your business to a search query.
Hours Add business hours, making sure that these match the hours listed on your website. Pay special attention if you have several locations with different working hours.
View and respond to reviews. Some businesses have a special review management policy, which allows them to control their online reputation.
Depending on the type of business you have selected, there will either be a single element for your website’s URL or multiple offerings such as Menu URL, Order ahead URL and Reservation URL.
A picture is worth a thousand words and images play a very important part in the decision-making process by customers. Again this section needs to be monitored as users are able to add images to your listing via Maps.
These may not be immediately available to you, but as data is built up about your business they will become available. You should regularly check these, as they are crowd sourced via Google Maps and do have the tendency to be incorrect.
Creating a post allows you to publish events, products and services directly and instantly in search and Maps.
The Insights section provides some information on where customers found your listing and what action they took.
Hence, the above given pro tips and the learning will help you clearly create, manage and optimize your online local business listings. In the next chapter we will see how to manage business citations.
As citations are very vital for any online business and to the matter of fact we have written on the same subject. But to get more valuable insights we will be discussing the other side of business citations in the next article.