Check out our Google Local Maps & Listings post for more information on why you should get listed on Google Local and other local listings.
To claim or add your business to Google Canada Local, go to Google Local and click the “Add new business” button. Fill out the forms that follow and you’re set to go. Below are some guidelines for some of the information to provide.
- Company/Organization: Use your common business name (not legal names with numbers, etc.) and try and incorporate some target keywords. For example, rather than “Sanderson & Hughes LLP”, consider “Sanderson & Hughes LLP Chartered Accountants”
- Street Address: Make sure you include a local address! Remember your ranking depends on your proximity to the search term. Since many people search with city modifiers (which have markers in the downtown core), you should emphasize your branches/locations closest to the core. Further, don’t rely on abbreviations and try to spell things out fully, e.g. Boulevard, Street, etc. Be as descriptive as possible, so your customers can find you, and ensure the location is plotted properly on the map. You can use the “Fix incorrect marker location” tool to make corrections.
- Main phone: Include all phone numbers that a potential customer would find useful. For example, accounting firms could have different numbers for general information and specific services offered. Remember, you want to make it as easy for customers as possible to find and contact you.
- Website: It’s amazing how many people ignore this opportunity. If you have a website, be sure to link to it; if not, call us to see how we’ve set up sites for clients that are helping them grow their business.
- Description (200 max): You are given a very limited space to describe your business. You want to be concise and yet highlight your key services and tell the customer why they should choose you. You are trying to sell yourself in 200 characters. Hard, yes, but possible. Further, you want to inject as many of your target keywords in this description as you can to improve your ranking.
- Categories: The categories you choose play a major role in whether and how high you rank on local search terms. You need to thoroughly research your industry and local search traffic statistics to determine the best categories to select. Remember, suggested categories are not necessarily better. This process should be an iterative one in which you monitor traffic response due to minor and incremental changes you make. You need to optimize for the keywords that will provide you the maximum traffic. This is part of our ongoing SEO service.
- Hours & Payment / Photos: Provide as much detail as possible. The more information you provide, the more useful the listing becomes to prospective customers and overall, the more searchable information Google has on your business–this is a very good thing. Photos are very catchy; it will help capture your customers’ attention and draw them to your site. It also provides an avenue to receive traffic from image searches.
- Custom Fields: Go crazy with these fields. Upload all your services and products, certifications, experience levels. Remember, the more information you provide, the more Google can search and rank you.
To confirm your listing, you will need to verify your listing, either by mail or over the phone. Pick the option that best suits you. Here is a quick video by Small Business Online Coach that I found helpful.