Getting your local business listed on Google Places’ 7-pack is now more important than getting your site on top of search results. Why? Because the 7-pack is almost always shown on top of the organic search results, and with all the information listed in there, customers are likely to click on any of the businesses listed than scroll down the bottom of the page.
Some businesses are already picked up by Google and are being shown whenever Google thinks that the searcher is looking for something local; but in most cases, you’ll have to list your site in Google Places.
The following are the steps that you need to take in order to get your business listed. You do not need to have a website but it is better if you have one so you have an avenue to further entice potential customers into picking up the phone and calling you or giving your store a visit.
You can log in using your Google (Gmail) account or sign up if you do not have one yet. After logging in you will be directed to a page where you can list your business.
Click on List your business.
On the next page, choose your country and put in your business’ phone number. Google will do search and see whether your business is already listed in Google Places. If so, all you have to do is claim that listing.
For this guide, I’ll be using a dummy phone number so we can create a listing from scratch. After inputting the number, you will be directed to the page where you can create your listing.
This is where you put in your business information. I suggest you fill out the form as completely as possible as Google favors listings that have more information.
Now, on the description and categories page
This is where you add your target keywords. If you do not have any idea about keywords, I suggest you read my post about keyword research for local businesses before filling out these fields.
Putting the right keywords in there is important since these are the terms that Google Places will associate your listing to.
Upload pictures and videos if you have any then click on submit.
Choose your preferred validation method
I prefer validating by phone since it is faster but if you like receiving postcards…suit yourself. Click on finish and you’re done.
Give it up to 12 hours, usually less, for your listing to get live. In cases where there is something wrong with your listing, you will get an email from Google telling you what the problem is and how to correct it.
Enhancing your Google Places listing
In order to further attract customers you can enhance your Google Places listing by adding pictures and videos. You can add up to 10 images and up to 5 videos to your listing. Familiar with YouTube? Hugely popular. That should give you an indication that videos work. If you do not have a video, create one.
Furthermore, you can create promo coupons and these will appear alongside your listing. A lot of people can NOT resist coupons, I am guilty of that too, so this is a great way to gain more customers.
Getting on that coveted Google 7-pack
Listing your business in Google Places does not guarantee a 7-pack listing for your target keywords. Your business/website will be in Google places for sure but you’ll have to do some work in order for it to appear on Google’s 7-pack.
This is where creating citations come in. Go back to your listing and jot down the company name, address, and phone number that you put in. That is your business’ citation.
Evans Nelson & Company CPA’s
50 Continental Drv Reno, NV 89509-3431
All you have to do now is get that to as many places online and your business will start showing on Google’s 7-pack.
I suggest you start by creating listings on local directories, niche directories, and perform local SEO techniques for your local business.