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How to set up Google Local for your Business

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This post will cover Google Local, Google Places and Google Maps. The process is not as straight forward as one would expect, though it has become easier to grasp compared to the mess it was last year. As Google continuously moves towards gathering more information about the 7 billion or so people on this planet, it is trying to tie all of its services into one user account. This means that your Google Plus is now linked to your Google Local and Google Places for Business. Let’s take it one step at a time.

What is Google Local?

Google Local is a listing aimed towards local businesses where users can get place recommendations, publish their own photos and reviews, view a business’ Google Plus page with posts and other useful information.

Where will my listing be?

  1. SERP – Google Local listings will show up in the search engine results page (SERP), especially very local businesses, such as “coffee shops Surbiton”:
    Local SERP
  2. Google Maps – Google Local listings also appear on those searching for relevant terms on Google Maps. It’s difficult to get onto the actual Google Local page from here, since Google Maps does a good job providing all the relevant information. However, clicking the reviews link will take you to the Google Local page:
    Google Local Map
  3. Local SERP – Local Listings also appear in local searches through users’ Google Plus page:
    Google Local SERP

What is Google Places?

Google Places is the bank end of your Google Local listing. The content in your Google Places for Business will appear in Google Plus, Google Maps, the SERP and Google Local. Google Places is therefore the first location you should enter information about your business, ensuring that each listing has consistent NAP (name, address and postal code). Any inconsistency will cause a host of issues. You can also edit descriptions and listings, website links, offers, pictures, videos, contact information and your address. Treat the Google Places dashboard as you would your business’ website, ensuring it is SEO optimised.

How to set up Google Local for your business

Video transcription

Hi guys and welcome to this tutorial on how to set up Google Local for your Business. The process is not as easy and straight forward as you would expect, so we’ll take it one step at a time here.

The best way to imagine Google Plus, Local, Google Maps, Places and whatever else there actually is, is to imagine it as one whole part of Google. Because they want to unite every user’s identity for better data collection, Google has now pushed us to link our Local and Places page with our Google Plus.

So let me take you step by step, start by going to google.com/+/business, and click get your page here, and we’ll create a new account.

Now, this Google Plus account should be your identity. Don’t worry about putting your business name into here, because it will probably not accept it as an actual name. This will not show up in your listing, you will be able to put in your company information in later.

I’m just going to use a made up example for this tutorial—my coffee shop.

Alright, once that is all complete just hit continue here…obviously this is just an example, you may want to spend more time for these steps.

Here we come onto the dashboard to select what kind of page you want to make for your company. We will select local business or places, you can obviously choose anything you want here, but this is for a local listing. Just log back in here again…

Okay, now, because you selected Local, it will bring up the map so you can select exactly where your business is located. In fact if we go back, not all the selections on the previous page will bring up the map. If we selected a product or brand here, it would ask you to put in your business information in a different way. So you could select your category, type of business, enter your name and so on.

But in any case, when you’re setting up a local listing, just put in your address here, because if you put in your business name here, it will not find it as it does not exist yet. If it does exist, you can put in the name and assign an address to it. But since it doesn’t exist, just add a new business, put in the business name and your NAP information. Now NAP is name, address and postal code. It is vital that the information you put in here is consistent with your website, directory listings, and, well, any NAP information about your business in existence. If it’s inconsistent, it will cause a host of issues you do not want to deal with.

So again you can select your category here. Now, this is another key point—“I deliver goods and services to my customer at their location”. Now this is for businesses where they do not want to meet their client in the location they provide during this set up. For example, an independent SEO consultant, would click that, select either the location of their meeting or a certain distance from the address they provided up here. So I can just choose maybe 20 kilometres from the address I provided earlier. And here where it says “I also serve customers at my business address”, this would be applicable if the SEO consultant receives clients at their home as well as host meetings elsewhere. I’m just going to un-tick that because the coffee shop does have a physical where I serve my customers and click continue.

Now, the verification process. This has been something Google likes doing for years, and I do understand why. What happens is that you can ask Google to Mail a code to you which will arrive in a few days at your given address. You then enter the pin and verify your local listing. If I click this. Enter my name. And I’ll get the card, or I won’t because the address wasn’t exact. But in either case…

Okay, now we’re at your Places for Business Page. Notice how we went from our Google Plus account, created a Local Page, and now we end up on the Places for Business dashboard. This is how Google works, everything is integrated into one now. This dashboard, however should precede all others. All information entered here MUST be consistent with information you have in your other listings. Make sure you include keywords, and when setting this up there are also some cool things you could do, such as edit your Google Plus page, add Local ads. If we just click Google Plus page now, it will make a Google Plus page for your business, so whereas before the Google Plus was created for the name I provided, my identity, this will create one for my coffee shop. So this is a Google Plus profile, and you can tell by how it says about, profile, photos, and so on…

Now back to the dashboard here, make sure you enter some information about your listing, including your operating hours, some photos, this will all help your rankings in the local listing. If you go back to your Google Plus, you can see the same information here. If you edit it here, on your Google Plus, it will update it on your places for business dashboard and the other way around as well. So don’t worry too much about that. You can also update your address here. Google does take a while for it to update because it performs quality checks on any information you change, so give it a few days. Until then, it will show your old listing.

But that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thank you for watching.

Summary
Title
Google Local for Business Tutorial
Description

Sohaib Siddique, Technical Lead at Verve Search, takes you through a guide to setting up a Google Local for Business page, helping you to capture new customers from your local area and beyond!