Google has taken over the world. Well, if not the world, it’s at least taken over local searches. When people want to find a new local business or local one they already know about, the vast majority of them perform a Google search. Google Places listings will be the first results they see. If your business doesn’t appear, or if it appears with incorrect information, you could be losing a lot of new customers.
If you want people to find you with Google, it’s very easy to get your business listed or to edit the existing information. Follow these steps for Google Places listings now.
Search for Your Business
Google Places takes business information from a variety of other sources, such as Yellow Pages. It’s very likely that your business is already in their directory, so search for your business name and city or zip code. If you find a listing, you will need to claim it by clicking on the listing, and then clicking on “Edit” or “Claim Your Business.”
If you do not find your listing, go to Google.com/Local and click on “Put Your Business on Google Maps.” You’ll need to log in using a Google account. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to create one. You’ll create your account and your listing by following the simple steps that Google will take you through.
Verify Your Listing
If you have created your business listing, you’ll first edit all of the information such as address, phone number, hours, map location, photos, and more, and then you’ll verify your listing. If you’re editing your listing, you’ll need to verify before you can change anything. In order to verify your listing, you’ll need to enter a PIN that Google sends to the mailing address of your business or to your business phone number. Until you prove you are who you say you are, your listing will come up as “unverified.”
Edit Your Listing
Once you’ve verified your listing, you can now edit it whenever you want. The most important thing to do is make sure that your contact information (address and phone number) is correct. If you ever make any changes to your contact information or anything else on your listing (like hours of operation or business description), don’t forget to update your listing with the current information. It’s a good idea to add detailed information about your business, as well as some photos and links to your website and/or social networking profiles.
If the information you found on Google Places was incorrect, you should visit the websites listed as providing the information (Yellow Pages, etc.) and update your contact information there as well by following their particular instructions. If you find more than one listing for your business, claim and edit them all to be exactly the same. Do not delete them. Just make the information the same on all of them, and Google will eventually merge them or delete the duplicates for you.
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image credit: Search Engine Land