If you're a website owner you've probably heard a lot about local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local search parameters drive traffic to your site and business to your physical storefront. This is vital for businesses which have a physical location. It will not do you much good if you're attracting people from hundreds of miles away if you do not offer online shopping. When you claim your business on Google Places you can ensure the information is correct and help build your local SEO.

Enhance Your Listing

Google lists your business using several sources it finds on the internet. Unfortunately some of this information may not be correct or very detailed. When you claim your business in Google Places you can correct any errors, add photos, coupons, videos, and offer updates on sales and specials. When you verify your listing this gives you the opportunity to really beef up your SEO and web presence.

How It All Works

You can add up to 10 listings manually, or up to 100 single listings on Google Places by using the bulk upload. Listing your business is fairly easy. Here is how to actually get it done:

  • First sign up for a Google Places account and click Add New Business .
  • Select the country of your business and enter the phone number and click Find Business Information . This will pull up your current Google listing.
  • Look for your business, but if it's not listed you can add it at this time by clicking Add New Listing .
  • Fill in the information about your business. This must include name, an address, and phone number. You can also add your website address, but this information is not mandatory. Once you enter all of the information click Next .
  • Now you can add some details about your business. Remember the more details you enter the more likely people will feel comfortable visiting your business. Details may include up to five categories for your business, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, photos, videos, and any other information for example parking accessibility, handicap access, and if you allow pets.
  • Next preview listing and if you're happy with it hit Submit . Choose your verification method and click Finish .
  • Once you've completed all of these steps and verified your listing you can then sign into your Google Places account and check your listing. Once you're in Google Places click See your listing on Google . This will take you to your Place Page. You will see your listing as it is seen by visitors. If you find any errors contact Google by sending a report through the Report a problem link.

Google Places is free, but only available in certain countries and it is only available for businesses. Your business must have a physical mailing address and phone number. Be sure to check Google's quality guidelines before you begin so you will not have any problems getting your business listed. Claim your listing on Google Places, tailor it to your business, and you will increase your local SEO.