It’s time to make sure you appear in local business searches online by claiming and improving your Google Maps listing.
According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. With this in mind, it's probably a good idea to make sure your profile on the world's biggest search engine is up to date and that you're providing all those potential customers with the information they need to decide whether to visit you or not.
Why get an online business Identity?
Local online search numbers are on the increase, by people with smart phones looking for and discovering local products and services that are available.
QUICK FACTS you should know:
· Over 18 billion search queries are made from the top five search engines per month
· 62% of users consider local search results to be most relevant
· Over 150 million mobile users visit local search sites every month
· 78% of mobile users made a purchase as a result of an online local search
· 43% of all Google searches are local or location based
· There are 58.7 million Google map users.
Why you need a Google Listing
For location-relevant businesses these types of searches are the most important queries that you can hope to win. These queries aren't you trying to beat out your nationwide or global position for search engine rankings, but are instead highly local-based and often immediate in their conversion from a query to a phone call or physical customer at your location. In some industries (such as restaurants) this conversion percentage has been found (for smartphone users) to equal 30% immediate conversions and 60% conversions within an hour, and 80% go on to eventually make a conversion.
30% conversions immediately and 60% conversions within an hour.
These aren't window shoppers, these are people that are immediately converting to become customers of yours.
And guess what they're using to conduct these local searches? Google Maps on iOS (Apple) or Google via their Android phone.
Where are the top results being pulled from? Your Google+ Local Page information.
What is Google Places and Google+ Local anyway?
Google Places is now Google+ Local.
This may be confusing, but Google had a service which is still operational called, Google Places. You might have used it in the past, and in fact one can create new listings. But this is being phased out and merged with Google+ functionality in the form of Google+ Business.
This service from Google allows control of the information about your business, products or services. By adding an identity to an online listing, you can maximise the listing content, get published in local search results and ensure the accuracy of your identity.
Online Business Identity. This is not Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is not part of your website, nor is it about making the content in your website more optimized for search engines. This is entirely about giving the best information about your business, keeping the profile updated and active so that search engines like Google can list it in their "yellow pages" directory. It enables search engines like Google to match queries with the best search results.
Google's Places for Business tool allows you to claim your business listing and manage the information shown about you on Google Search and Google Maps.