Google Places, Local business listings, and how they can help.
How can a local business get on the first page of Google? This question is one of the most asked about, and at the same time, one that is most misunderstood by local business owners, so I will do my best to answer it in this article.
Most business owners are not very knowledgeable about how the Internet can help their local business, and therefore they tend to shy away from it, but the truth is that unless they are prepared for the golden opportunity that is being handed to them, on a plate by Google and the other search engines, the chances are that their business will not grow, and could indeed fail.
For some time now Google have known that people have changed the way that they look for services in their local areas, and now they search for things on the internet, rather than looking in the local newspapers for them, and this can be proved by the noticeable drop in newspaper and Yellow pages advertising.
Because of this Google have changed the way that it gives the people that are searching for services, search results that are showing local results first, giving local businesses an advantage over their competitors.
In recent years there has also been a sharp increase in the number local business directories, and most of them allow businesses to list their business for free, of course some will also try to sell you a premium position, but this is not necessary.
Google have now introduced their own version of business listings, and have called it Google places, and you can also list your business for free in it.
Both the local business listings and Google places work closely together, and therefore many business listings have been picked up by Google, so there are a lot local businesses that have a listing on Google places and have not claimed their listing, as they don’t even know that they have one.
These local listings, together with Google places are very powerful, and give the local business owner the chance to get their business onto the first page of Google in their local area, as well as the other main search engines.
There are only seven places available on the first page of Google, so therefore the listings will need to be properly done, to give the best chance of getting on the first page.
Combining the above strategy with your own local business website, and linking the local listings, as well as the Google Places listing to the website, can result in not only having your local Google places listing on the first page, but also your business website showing in the organic listings below the Google places listings, giving you double the chance of being found.
For this to happen though your website will have to be well optimized (meaning that it will come up for several search phrases), if you don’t know how to do this then it’s worth spending some money to get it done properly.
I hope that you are now getting the idea on how a local business can get onto the first page of Google in your local area.