A Google Map listing can often be a very useful way for consumers to quickly connect with local companies offering exactly the service and retail goods they require. Nearly any time you’ve looked for an online local auto repair shop on Google, chances are what you located had a Google Map listing attached to it. Even if it didn’t have one, it’s still likely that the businesses listed on the map were at least somewhat popular. In fact, the number of businesses listed on a Google Map page is one measure of its popularity.
The use of Google Maps by local business listings has only been around for a few years, but it’s already proved incredibly useful in a number of ways. For starters, Google Maps can often give you an idea of the opening hours of a local store. You can also often find out whether a business is open or running on weekends. If it’s closed on the weekend, you’ll notice. And if you’re planning a night out, having the ability to see when the closest gas station is may make choosing a destination much easier.
But how does Google use the information it gathers to help searchers find their ideal local retail business? Google Maps allows searchers to enter a specific, detailed search query, specify a location, and then Google sends out multiple results based on the information it’s collected. As a result, a Google Map listing may not show up for certain kinds of searches, such as searching for “burger downtown.” This limitation is called “Google localized.” In cases where the searcher doesn’t specify a location, Google will search from the nearest Google Maps street level search result.
Fortunately, the same limitations apply to searching for a specific product or service. The good news is that you can easily turn this limitation into a benefit. Google has introduced a feature called Google Local, which provides local search engine optimization (SEO) for small business with a Google Map listing on Google.
By adding a more specific, more targeted set of criteria to local searches, Google is enabling businesses that are more specific in their target markets to improve their online performance. Google Local offers three different benefits: improving local search engine rankings by displaying more specific, high-quality business listings; providing customers with more options by allowing searchers to search using certain criteria; and displaying positive reviews of a business’s local listings. Google Local offers searchers the best of both worlds: they can get precisely the kind of local business listing they’re looking for, but they won’t miss any of the helpful information that comes along with a Google Maps listing. In fact, customers will be able to find information about the business, such as phone number, address, email address, and employee information, right in the search engine. Along with the standard map listing, Google Local also includes reviews written by customers, which can provide a helpful reference.
Given the popularity of Google Places and Google Local, many small business owners may be tempted to skip these important offerings and sign up with just about any search engine. However, if a business owner is serious about building online presence and increasing online traffic, he or she should consider these services. These services are provided in conjunction with Google Places, and they can help a business owner achieve the same online presence and increased online traffic that they got with Google Places. Not only will the business owner have greater visibility in the major search engines, but he or she will also have additional opportunities to promote his or her company locally.
For example, if a business owner wants to open an offline store in the city where he or she grew up, he or she will have to do a lot of research in order to locate the right wholesale suppliers, and then figure out how to optimize those websites for higher search engine rankings. Google understands that it’s part of a person’s responsibility to optimize websites for local searches. That’s why it’s so important that a person opens up an account with Google Places. This account will give the business owner the ability to optimize websites for specific areas. For instance, if a person plans to open a boutique in the city where he or she was raised, he or she can input those city and state keywords in the Google Places page. Then, customers who are searching for specific items that are associated with his or her new boutique will be able to find it.
Once a person has optimized his or her website for city and state searches, he or she will be ready to launch his or her Google Places business. The business owner will then be ready to launch his or her Google Store, and make it available to local searchers who are searching for a local business name. If someone searches for “wedding dresses in Stockton Hills”, a business owner will know that searchers in Stockton Hills will be interested in buying a dress that he or she can wear to their upcoming wedding. In fact, a business owner who is offering wedding dresses in Stockton Hills may find that he or she is one of hundreds of local businesses that are featured on Google Maps, which is powered by Google Places. That way, the business owner can ensure that searchers looking for a particular item are given a Google Map to check out his or her store.