Create or Claim Your Local Business Listings
A recent article on Search Engine Land looks at some mobile and local search statistics. According to the data, local search is at least 20 percent of total queries on the PC (on Google) it’s at least 40 percent of smartphone queries, also according to Google.
So, having a complete and accurate listing for your local business on the major search engines is more important now than ever. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to create or "claim" your local business listing with search engines like Google and Bing. A local business listing will help your business to appear in the search results that people see when they’re looking for a particular business, service or product in a specific area, for instance, "soccer balls, Seattle". These listings are free, and creating one or claiming one takes only a few minutes.
If your business has been in existence for a while, it's likely that Google and Bing already have some information about you in their database. The first step is to search for your business name and see if you are listed. The next step will be for you to create an account, if you don't have one already, and enter in your business information to claim your listing. Claiming your listing will allow you to add to and update any of your business information.
- The page for Google Business Places is http://www.google.com/placesforbusiness
You can log in with a Google gmail account if you already have one. If you don't have one, the page will give you the option of creating one.
- For Bing, the page is at https://www.bingplaces.com/
For this, you can either click on the "Get started" button or the "sign in" button if you already have a Bing account.
From there, on both sites you should be able to choose to enter in your business information, which is your business name and phone number, and address. Your listing will come up, and from there you can choose to "claim" it which will let you update the information.
Complete the forms with current information about your business, including website address, phone number, hours of operation, and details about your products and services. Many additional pieces of information are optional, such as photos or alternate phone numbers. We recommend filling out as much information as you can.
After submitting your information, each search engine has a verification process that you must go through in order to confirm that you are indeed the business owner and are authorized to manage the listing. For Google, you may choose either a phone verification process or choose to get a postcard in the mail. the phone option is instant, however you will need to be available at your business number and take note of the PIN number that the automated caller will give you. This PIN number will need to be entered into the verification field of your listing. If you choose the postcard method,you will receive a postcard in the mail with a PIN, which you will then enter into the verification field. This takes about two weeks.
Bing doesn't offer a postcard option,and their phone verification process is a little different than Google's, but still just as simple. With Bing, the business center account provides you with a PIN, which you must punch into the phone when you receive the automated call.
Once your listing is verified, there is nothing else to do! We do recommend keeping your listing up-to-date and refreshing the pictures, videos, business hours or other information that you provide.
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