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Get Noticed! How to Navigate Google Local Business Listings

Dear small to medium-sized business marketer, business developer, owner, tech officer, or that employee that “does everything around here”:

It’s super important that you make sure your Google Business Listing is updated and all fields are filled out to their fullest potential. This way your listing will show up in the most ideal light!

It may sound basic— because it is! —but that should be even more incentive to do it. And maybe even better is that it’s FREE.


Google Local Business Listings is a product provided by yours truly (if you haven’t already guessed) Google that puts local businesses in the crosshairs of consumers looking for them. When a business lists themselves in the database, they will pop up according to someone’s search criteria. However, each listing is at the mercy of google’s algorithms, which strives to calculate and produce fair results among establishments according to  the info the business owner, marketer, developer etc. puts into the fields online.

When someone pulls up google maps or the search bar and they type in what they are looking for like say, meat and cheese baskets for grandma (pretty specific huh?), Google runs through all the establishments that person may benefit from. According to Google’s business listings support page business‘ local rankings, however, depends on three key factors:

Relevance: how well a listing matches someone’s search criteria. This is factored in by the terms and keywords describing the business which helps the little tiny Google hamsters running algorithms understand what the business is so it can best match up with whatever people are searching for.

Distance: “just like it sounds,” says Google. If the business seeker does not specify a location, Google will list the closest establishments to that person that fit the search criteria.

Prominence:  “refers to how well-known a business is.” A lot of factors play into this aspect of the listing because Google takes from information across the web like reviews, rankings, how well-known the brand is, and even SEO. So, keeping up with your reviews and online reputation could increase the chances people find your business:  “more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.”

There is no way to pay for a better ranking, it really does depend on how well these three items are addressed: “There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. We do our best to keep the details of the search algorithm confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.”

Don’t just assume your business listing is up to date, or even in the database for that matter. Check it regularly and update it accordingly while managing your online reputation and experience the exposure of Google Business Listings.