Wednesday, February 07, 2007
It's no big secret that Google and other search engines see local search as one of the next big steps in search engine results. Toward this end, Google has been working to include local businesses at the top of specific geographic search queries.
How's this work?
Well, let's say you decide that Japanese sounds good for dinner tonight. And let's say you are in Dallas, which, as you probably know, Zunch is. So you do a search in Google for "Japanese Restaurants Dallas." This is the image that appears above (yes, ABOVE) the search results:
The cool thing for the restaurants appearing here?
The map and the listings appear at the top left of the search engine results page (SERP), prime real estate and generally the first area of the screen that a viewers eyes land on.
The cooler thing for the restaurants appearing here?
It didn't cost them a dime to appear there!
And it won't cost you anything to list your business.
You can read Google's own blog on the subject for more info.
The blog doesn't explain how to get listed, so here's what you do:
- Visit https://www.google.com/local/add/login and set up a Google Maps account. Not only can you add address, telephone and other information, but you can include a link to your Website.
- You'll next have to verify your address. To prevent anyone from posting fraudulent listings, Google will verify via snail mail (yes, snail mail), by sending you a postcard.
- You will receive a PIN on the postcard. You'll need to log back into Google Local/Maps and enter the PIN.
- The next time Google updates the listings, you'll be included. Be aware that it may take 3-4 weeks before you appear in the Map listings.
This is an unbelievably simple way to get listed at the top of the search engines for local listings. If many of your prospects are local, doing this will give you a leg up on the competiton, unless, of course, they've figured out how to do this also.
So get the jump on the competition and do it, now.