Before I go on I want to tip my hat to Doug Willett, LunaTech3D, a Google affiliate who provides the LOOK INSIDE videos for businesses, non-profit organizations, and downtown development groups. Doug provided great insights into the why and how of Google ranking and Google+ pages and Google maps.
- You do not need to have a Google email account (gmail.com) to have a business listing on Google ... but it makes things easier (that last part is based on my experience).
- "Google" is a search engine which delivers links and maps to online resources based on ranking. (See next point) It is also a social platform called "Google+".
- Ranking is determined by Google. The better your ranking the more likely it is that you will be found on the first page of suggested links. That would be the organic links listed below the paid ads!
- Go to Google.com/Maps and search for your business listing. Edit the listing if it already exists. Add the listing if it does not exist. At this point you will be frustrated if you do not have a gmail account because it continues to press you for your gmail account information.
- Verify your business listing. This will be completed through a postcard or phone call. The postcard takes a week or more. Sometimes it never comes. So, then you return to their site to the CONTACT US page to find the link to request a call from Google Customer Service. They will call you promptly. This afternoon I had two calls from Google Customer Service. Our conversations lasted over an hour. My 3 client issues were resolved by the time we had said goodbye. Whew!
- Your company name on the Google+ page (if you have one) and the Google Map must match exactly. The same applies to the street name, city and state. Do not vary the spelling.
- Have your customers leave reviews on Google+. Very good for ranking.
You can find more details on the Google website. support.google.com/mybusiness
Interesting fact - Independent statistics say that Google serves 70-80% of all searches and there are 5.1B (billion!!) of them each day. 20% of searches are for LOCAL online resources.
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