Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy
All businesses should create a location page on Google. There are a few steps to follow, but it is free. And, Google now places location results at the top of search pages.
Google now puts an emphasis on local search because every day there is a high volume of people searching for local businesses to supply answers to their local needs.
Google My Business is completely focused on connecting searchers with local businesses. So, if you can win a spot in My Business listings, you will not have to compete with all the other pages that turn up in the normal search results to get a top ranking in the page.
Unlike Google AdWords, with My Business you do not have to pay to advertise. A Google My Business listing is easily done by most business owners without the need for much technical expertise.
Google search bots crawl the internet to find evidence of businesses. As a result, Google often creates empty place-holder listings for businesses found on other credible sites.
So you should spend some time testing variations of your business name and telephone numbers to see if you are already listed. If you do find a listing, then immediately claim it as the owner.
You do not want to create a Google My Business listing more than once with the same address. You can add multiple location pages for each different address if you really do have multiple locations.
You will be asked to supply and confirm some basic information. It is a good idea to provide answers for every field. The more detail you provide, the more that Google can share with searchers.
Add the images and videos. Encourage reviews because they are becoming increasingly important to search visibility.
There will be a verification process, usually by phone or email.
While you are at it, make sure you list your business in other credible directories, Google will find them and respect them. Google and other search engines judge the value of your site by how many other sites refer people to you.
The more links to your My Business page and website, the higher your rank will be in search results. For that reason, list your business in as many relevant directories as possible.
Providing consistent information is important. To help with this, create a text file with the details of how you will describe you business, its name, address, phone, etc. Use the same text everywhere you mention or register your business online.