Posted by The Marketing Team,
Dec 09, 2013
Formally known as ‘Google Places’, Google Local is a great way for local businesses to put their physical location on Google maps.
However, it’s more than just little red peg on a map for your business; you can also add important details such as opening times, addresses, contact details and photos which go a long way to increasing overall online visibility.
Say, for example you’re looking for a local takeaway near your home and you type ‘takeaway’ into the search engine. The results you get will then display all the local eateries near your home that have place markers with Google Local, with the option to view those businesses in greater detail together with a link to their website.
Ok, but why do I need it?
Put simply, local search increases the capability of your business to be found - but how? Well, for one, it’s a highly targeted form of online marketing that reaches potential and current customers directly. It’s not like leafleting or other forms of advertisement; this is a highly targeted and effective form of promotion, reaching those customers that are searching for a specific product or service when they need it the most. Also, with so many people using search engines to find local businesses, you might be left behind the competition if you’re not listed!
Another important capability offered by Google Local is that customers can leave reviews, which can greatly encourage others to use the service (as long as the ratings are favourable towards your business, of course). User reviews are a great measure of how you’re perceived by your customers and where you may need to improve, and also gives you a chance to directly address any comments or issues.
Benefits to SEO
There is no direct evidence to show that Local improves organic rankings for a website, but it is widely believed that it does indeed help in some way. If anything, it increases discoverability as a company will take up more real estate on search results pages if they have a Places listing. Another bonus is that a number of online local citation sites (that act like online ‘yellow pages’) crawl Google Local and add details to their databases, which can provide further SEO benefits towards your business.
So there you have it! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using Google Local. It doesn’t cost anything, setting it up is really simple, and the potential benefits are well worth the time it takes to get listed.
Written by the SEO Team from Total Media
The SEO team have a passion for search. They love cups of tea, chocolate biscuits and all things online.