Your guide to a successful online business!

Last year I wrote a blog post about the Google Local Business Center (LBC). This is a directory of local businesses, and can be a great source of traffic to your website and leads for your business.

A listing in the Google LBC is a single web page that includes information about your business, such as:

Business name; address, phone number, contact details,

Business type;

Web Address

There is also a place where customers can leave reviews about your service, and you can post vouchers to give customers money off.

Results from Google LBC show up for searches on Google and on Google maps. These searches often have a place in the phrase, such as ‘florist in Southampton’. The results include a map with place-markers to show where each business is.

Since there are many people searching for local goods and services on Google, your LBC listing can be a great source of leads. The problem is that your listing has to compete with many other local businesses, which means it’s often hard to get it to appear at all.

So how do you make sure your listing appears high up the results?

Google uses many signals to determine the rank of a LBC listing. Here are my 6 tips to help you boost yours to number 1, and to grab the biggest share of that traffic.

1. Claim your listing as a business owner!

Obvious I know, but you need to claim your listing. There is a LBC listing for every business in the UK. Your LBC listing will exist even before you take ownership of it. But it won’t rank highly until you kick off your optimisation strategy. Follow the instructions in the original post to take ownership.

2. Submit your website to all the directories of local businesses.

 

Common ones include Yelp, Qype and the Internet Yellow Pages. Make sure you have a listing in any well known directories local to your area too.

3. Use the main keyword that you want to appear for in the title of your listing.

For example, if you are a Southampton based Florist, make sure your listing title has ‘Florist Southampton’ in it.

4. Use your main keywords in your directory description too

5. Put your directory listings in as many categories as possible

You’re often allowed up to 5. The more categories you’re listed in, the bigger the list of keywords your listing will be boosted for. Make sure the categories are relevant though – remember Google likes ‘relevance’ more than anything else.

6. Get some good reviews and ratings

Over on the webfusion blog, we covered the importance of having a ‘social media strategy‘. This includes an idea called ‘reputation management’, which is all about encouraging the development of a positive reputation.

A key way to do this is to foster good reviews of your product. There have been a few high profile cases where business owners have employed people to post positive reviews about their product in as many place as possible. This is strictly frowned upon, and can backfire on the business owner once everyone becomes aware of the scam.

It’s still possible to generate positive reviews without rigging the system. The next time a customer thanks you for your service, or sends you a positive email, ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing that feedback elsewhere. You could even point them towards a few relevant reviews websites, and your listings on the directories we’ve mentioned here. You might know of a few local reviews and ratings sites that operate in your area too.

It’s also important to get good reviews and ratings on your Google LBC listing page. There’s a designated place for people to leave reviews – point your customers towards those.

And that’s it.

The Google Local Business Center gives you a handy one page listing that lets potential customers know all about your business. This listing can appear for local searches on both Google and Google maps. Take control of yours, boost its rank, and it can be a valuable source of leads.

Have you had any experience of the Google LBC? Leave us a comment below.

Nick Leech runs Digital Marketing Agency Euston Digital

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