A common problem I come across for many businesses I do consulting for is the need to get their business listed in Google – not just to the top of the rankings – a challenge that comes later, but listed at all in the search results, even for their own business name.
Lucky for you, it’s a simple thing to do. In fact, I’m going to show you the exact steps to do it in this post, even if you don’t have a website. The problem is, even with a step-by-step guide like this, many business owners still don’t take the steps to do this, and they’re missing out on a TON of business.
Think about how the world has progressed in the last 5 years. We’ve gone from land lines and the yellow pages being the majority, to cell phones and the internet being the majority. And for some businesses, it’s all happened seemingly overnight. This quick progression, for many business owners, has left a question mark in the way businesses are marketed.
What was once a simple thing to do – get listed in the yellow pages and wait for the phone to ring – is now a big question mark for many business owners. How do I get my business listed online?
Before I answer that question, let me say one thing. The point of this post is not to say that offline marketing is no longer successful. Many businesses still do very well without any online activity at all. But these businesses either really have their marketing practices together and have been building it for many years, or they cater to more seasoned Gen X or Baby Boomer audiences who are more prone to look to offline sources first for their services. And even some of this crowd now primarily uses the Internet.
Think about those businesses who offer services to younger audiences, the Gen Ys and the Millennials. What does that crowd do first when they’re looking for a service of some sort?
They open up Google. They ask their friends on Facebook. They check online directories. They pull up and app on their smartphone. Most of them don’t even own a phone book, let alone are they going to use one to find a business.
If your business isn’t listed online, I guarantee you’re missing out on new business – absolutely no question about it. The time to get listed online is now. Here’s how to do it.
How to Get Your Business Listed in Google
I’m going to keep the rest of this post short, because I’d rather you take action than read too many more details. Follow the steps below and you’ll be sure to pull in a few new clients from your newly found online business listings.
The first, and best thing you can do is set up your Google Places page.
Go to Google Places, sign in with your Google Account, click on the “Get Started Now” button and follow the prompts until you get to the “Basic Information” page, pictured below. On this page, simply fill in all of the information as accurately as possible. If you have a website, make sure you list that here too, and make sure you list all of the contact information EXACTLY as it appears on your website. This is what will signal Google that your places listing is legitimate.
If you have photos of your business in action, upload these here as well. This will be vital to your Google Places page performing well. Pictures denote that there is actual business activity going on. It helps with your visitors sense of trust.
Once you are finished, click “Submit” at the bottom of the page – Google will then mail you a postcard with a PIN number on it to the location you listed in your information. Look out for this and enter this PIN ASAP when you get it. This will verify your listing and you will start appearing in search results!
Congratulations. People can now find your business online – even without a website!
Other Ways to Get Your Business Listed Online
Bing Local is the Bing equivalent to Google Places. Bing is not nearly as popular as Google, but there are a significant number of people who use it and there are a lot of resources behind it. It’s not going anywhere.
Check out Bing Local here – The submission process is very similar to the Google Places process, but actually a little bit easier. Go ahead and get that done. It’s a very simple thing to do to get your business a lot of exposure.
Business Listing Sites
Beyond Google Places, there are a ton of directory sites out there where you can set up an online business listing. All of these have the possibility to appear in search results, and all of them can potentially send business your way. I’m not going to go into detail about these, but I will say that if you’re serious about this, set all of these up, and look for more as well – or have someone help you with it.
Some of these are free. Some aren’t. I recommend starting with the free ones, reaping the benefits from those, and then ponying up the dough for the paid ones. Each one will help you get more exposure.