The Google Local Pack
If you search Google the results displayed often contain their Local Pack near the top of the search results. This is the area including the map and the three businesses listed below it.
If you do not enter a town or city Google try to work out where you are and display what they think are businesses local to where you are searching from (based on your IP address). If you do add a geographical term, in the example above Derby, then they will show the map and below it three business they know to be local to that search.
Google My Business
In order for your business to appear in this section of the search results you need to add it to Google My Business.
Firstly, you need a Google account, which are free to sign up for. Click this link to do this
Now search for your business name and on the left-hand side of the search results you should see details of your business e.g.
Click on the “Own this Business“ link and follow the wizard screens to claim the business. To verify you are to owner Google will send a post card out with a verification code.
If your business is not already listed then you can add it anyway. Within you Google account find My Business and “Add A New Business”
Entering Information About Your Business
Once you have claimed the business fill in the information required
Ensure you fill in as much information as you can including:
Address & Service Areas
A detailed description of your business and its products and services
Products (if you sell products)
All the above information provides Google with an insight into your business, where you are and what you do. This will allow Google to display your Business Places listing above businesses who have provided them with less detail from search relevant to your business.
As part of Business Places, Google allows people to provide reviews about your company. The reviews are rated from 1 star (poor) to 5 Star (excellent) and more high star rankings will boost your Local SEO ranking i.e. you will appear higher in the Local Pack listing.
NB This does not impact on the organic SEO of your website just your Business Places listing
You will see in the first screen above of the Local pack that under company name are the number of Reviews that the company have received and the average of the star rating
Getting More Reviews
Encourage customers and clients to leave a review by going to the Home section of Places. Look for the “Get more reviews” section and click the Share review Form
This allows you to share a link allowing them to leave a review via an email, Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook.
You can add posts to your Places Listing under the Posts section. This allows you to add offers or other items of current news information and will hopefully attract people to your website
Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of Google My Business
Take the time to create and optimise a Google My Business Listing. They are one of the best free ways of appearing in Google search results.