Before you get started, we need to make one thing crystal clear: do not make mistakes when entering your information. Making mistakes will cause major delays in the process and can derail your local SEO marketing efforts.
With that dire warning out of the way, let's get to the meat of this blog: how to claim a Google+ Local listing. The following 10 steps will walk you through the verification process and can be used if you have opened a new satellite office, changed locations, or have just opened your firm:
10-Step Guide to Claiming Google Local Listings
- Search Yourself. Using Google Maps, search for your business. If your name doesn't appear, skip to step 3. If it does, click on your listing, and move on to step 2.
- Manage Your Page. You should now be on the Google+ Local page for your business. Click the "Manage this Page" button and skip to step 6.
- Begin Listing Process. Since your business was not listed in Google Local, you'll need to create a listing. To do so, go to http://www.google.com/business/
- Verify Your Phone Number. You will now be asked to enter the primary phone number for your business. This should be your local number. Do not use your 1-800 or 1-866 number. Google will use the number you enter to find any information they already have on your business.
- Verify Ownership. If you get a page with your information already entered and correct, you will be prompted to verify ownership. Click "Verify ownership," and skip to step 8.
- Add and Edit Information. Now you'll be allowed to edit existing information and add new information. With Google+ Local, more details are better, so ensure that you correctly fill in every possible field, including website, email, business description, up to five categories, hours of business, images, and YouTube videos.
- Double Check Your Information. Consistancy is key for local listings. Make sure you entered everything correctly and chose the most appropriate categories.
- Verify Your Listing. You'll be asked to verify your information through either phone or postcard. We suggest doing so by phone, as the post card is easy to miss in the mail and takes 2-3 weeks to reach you.
- Get Your PIN. If you choose to verify via phone, you will receive a call from Google within minutes. The call will give you a PIN, which you need to use in your Google+ Local dashboard to verify your account.
- Pat Yourself on the Back. You now have a verified Google+ Local listing. Congratulations!
But don't get too smug; you now need to claim your local listing on other search engines, such as Yahoo! and Bing. Again, it's crucial that information associated with your listings on these search engines is correct and that your name, address, and phone number are the same across the board.
For help ensuring that your local listings are correct and properly optimized for maximum search engine impact, call 888.886.0939.