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When you’re looking for a local business – from restaurants to florists, auto mechanics to dentists – where do you turn? Most of us pick up an electronic device and enter key words into a search engine. Therefore it is vital for local businesses to have online listings that are current, accurate and easy to find. Tools such as “Google My Business” are helpful for managing your online listings. Here are some basic guidelines to get the most mileage from your listings:

What You Should NOT Do:

  • Don’t miss out on local business by failing to create a Google “local” listing. Having a verified local profile will help searchers find you through search and Google maps.
  • Don’t use an incorrect or inconsistent name, address and phone number (NAP) on your listing. Google bots crawl the Web looking for mentions of your business to verify that the information listed is correct. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies will work against you. For Google to consider your company legitimate, you must have a street address. (Post office boxes do not qualify.) 
  • Don’t tolerate or ignore malware on your website. Visitors will avoid sites that might put their computers at risk, and Google will warn users to steer clear of your site.

What you SHOULD Do:

  • Do list your NAP consistently across platforms – social media, review sites, YellowPages, Citysearch, etc.
  • Do select the right category for your business. If your business fits into more than one, chose the most relevant, and list a secondary one when possible. Avoid multiple categories that might be confusing or misleading.
  • Do use language in your posts that indicates you are local. Mention local restaurants, sports teams, colleges, etc. as well as events or even weather when it’s applicable.
  • Do prove your authority and expertise with relevant social media and blog posts, and welcome interaction with readers.

Using Google My Business is free and perhaps one of the simplest methods of increasing your visibility in local searches.

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