Like Google Analytics (except totally different), a Google Local Business listing is a free tool you shouldn’t be doing without.
When you search on Google for a product or type of business and add a location to your search, you’ll notice among the first listed are the “local business results” with a map showing the location of each. In order to show up in that list, you must claim your Google local business listing. That was how this tool was first presented to me – as something you need to “claim”, so that some unscrupulous competitor doesn’t grab your listing first and fill it with misleading information. I’m not sure how that would happen, unless they gave an erroneous address, because Google needs to mail a postcard to you to complete the verification process.
Using local business listings on Google and other search engines will make your business that much more accessible to anyone in your area that needs your services – and you’ll probably find that even place names that are farther away than the immediate vicinity will bring up your listing in a search. Mine comes up even for towns 40 miles away. Although your business may offer services that can be delivered anywhere in the world, such as web design or voiceover, many people like to hire local, so don’t neglect the opportunity to increase your access to those potential clients.
For a convenient portal to the business listing registration process for other search engines, visit getlisted.org.