How to get FREE ADVERTISING from Google

On April 6, 2009 Google Local hit mainstream when Google announced that they were integrating local search results in the the regular search engine results pages. And they weren’t kidding. Since then, Google Local gets a huge amount of traffic.

Google Local is a way of advertising your local physical business on Google Maps, and it’s the next evolutionary stage from Google that is challenging the traditional space of Yellow Pages and other business directories. Not to
mention, it’s completely and utterly convenient in so many ways. I use it almost every day. You really need to be in Google Local it’s free advertising for your business.

How to Get Some Local Google Love:

The Google Local Business Center works off of keywords, just like the normal search results do. So, the idea is that you win in both keywords and proximity. If your business matches closely the keywords that the potential prospect uses in their search and you’re relatively close in proximity, you will show up nicely.
So how do you set up your Google Local stuff? Simple. Let’s get started:

1. Go to www.google.com/localbusinesscenter

2. Sign in with your Google Account (if you don’t have a Google Account yet, start by creating one here). You must have a Google Account so just give in and set one up if you don’t have one already.

3. Click “Add new business” once you’re logged in.
©2010 Law Firm Sites, Inc. All rights reserved. 5 of 8

4. Add your killer business details as you’d like them to appear in the search results. Make sure your main keyword is in the local business title.

Address: It only needs to be a valid address... Some people use this caveat to add dozens of listings to Google Local. For now, they’re getting away with it. In my opinion, they won’t outsmart Google for long.

Phone Number: Yup, as you’d expect. They will call you to verify the business at this phone number so make sure it’s right.

Description: Make this shine! This needs to sound good. Don’t forget to put your keywords up in here. This will make a big difference in helping you show up for your keywords.

Category: You your most specific categories here, and use all of them. You can add up to five (e.g. dentist, cosmetic dentist, endodontist, dental clinic, dental implants periodontist, etc.)

5. The map on the right will zoom into your location as you type in your address. You can move the marker around if Google’s best guess isn’t right on the nose accurate.

6. If your business already shows up, you’ll be asked to select the listing to claim it as your own, or if it’s a new business just click add a new one (if your business doesn’t match any listings, skip on down to Step 9.)

7. From the list of options, click the “Claim Listing” button next to the one that’s most similar to your business.

8. If your business isn’t there, click the “Add Listing” button at the bottom to create a new listing. Note: In the list of close matches, if the business name on a given listing is wrong but the address is right, click “Claim Listing” and Google Maps will use your preferred name.

9. Continue on to the next page after adding your business details.

10. On this page you get to add all kinds of stuff about your business.

Hours of operation: this is useful info for repeat and potential customers alike.

Payment options: what payment options do you take?

Photos: Do not skip this one. This is a quick chance to not look drab. You can add ten photos.

Videos: This is killer. If your business has videos, upload them to Youtube and add the URL to your listing.
Additional Details: Put anything you want here. I like to try and be funny here. It doesn’t hurt to add a keyword or two, just so long as it sounds natural.

11. Click submit.

12. Verify your listing, by phone if possible. If you have easy access to the phone number on your listing, choose phone verification. Google will call you and, once you enter a PIN, your listing will immediately be verified.

13. If you aren’t near the phone or have a voicemail system, choose postcard verification. Google will send you a card with a PIN for you to enter before mailing it back.

14. Done. If you submitted a new listing, it may take several weeks to show up in the search results, but it will.
And, you get more for your money... oh wait, this is free... Your business will also show up in Google Earth and 800-GOOG-411 as an added bonus.
Department: Helpful SEO Hints
Author: Joelle
Date: May 14, 2010

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