How Google Business Listings Help Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 16, 2014

As a business owner, you understand the importance of expanding your reach and getting the word out about your business. More than that, you may be aware of the importance of Internet marketing in your efforts to reach your target audience. After all, the fact is that many consumers today will use the Internet to find products or services that meet their needs, to research the options and ultimately to make a buying decision. This means that it is imperative for your business to be ranked highly in relevant keyword or phrase searches. With this in mind, you may be wondering what steps you can take to boost your Internet search rankings. The answer you are looking for may lie in Google business listings.

The Local SEO Challenges

Small business owners who have a local target audience may understandably be challenged by Internet marketing efforts. The Internet has a global reach, and you may not want to spend your marketing budget appealing to shoppers in Bangor, Maine, if your business is in Austin, Texas. More than that, you want to make sure that your business is ranked highly when your local target audience searches for your products or services. A significant challenge, therefore, lies focusing your Internet marketing budget in the local area. This may include the major metropolitan area where you do business out of, but it may also include smaller outlying communities and suburbs. After all, someone who is looking for a plumber in Arvada, Colorado will like search for Arvada plumber rather than Denver plumber.

What Are Google Business Listings

Google business listings are geographically oriented listings that Google allows you to create with minimal time and effort. This equates to a yellow pages listing for the Internet. When someone searches for restaurant in Los Angeles in Google, they will see a return of listings with a corresponding map feature. The searcher will be able to view the location of each business on the map so that they can choose the one closest to them. The listing will include the company name, address, link to your website, company description and more. According to Google, this is among the best ways for your business to be found through a local search on this search engine.

The Benefits of Google Business Listings

Setting up a Google business listing is fast and easy to do, and it may be well worth your time and effort. The fact is that this takes only a few minutes to complete, and it can yield several key benefits. It does make your business more visible through local searches of relevant keywords. Because it links to your website, it can drive traffic to your website. You may be able to add images of your exterior to the listing, and all searches can obtain driving instructions with the click of a link. Generally, a Google business listing is a cost effective way for your business to be listed with your competitors, and it makes it easy for them to obtain more information about your business by viewing your website.

The bottom line is that your target audience may never contact your business for more information about your products or services if they never see your business name or contact information in their online search. As a small business owner with a target audience, you simply must find a cost-effective way to be visible on the Internet when your target audience searches for you. Otherwise, you may be spinning your wheels with your marketing efforts by having your reach be too broad. If you are interested in improving your local SEO efforts, the simple and easy step of creating a Google business listing can generate incredible results for you. This is an affordable way to refine your marketing efforts and to be more visible to the people who are actively searching for your products or services in your community.