Google Local Business Center allows you to CLAIM your local listing(s) and correctly feed information to Google to be displayed when a web surfer searches for your city and state + Bed and Breakfast or other key phrases on a Google Local Business Listing.
You will be able to identify a Google Local Business Listing because you will see a Google map on the left hand side of the screen and up to 10 listings labeled A-J on the right when a search with the City + State is typed in the Google Search Box.
Google Local Business Center SHOULD NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Google Maps which is a whole other Product that Google provides that allows both Static and Dynamic Maps. Google Maps are not related to Google Local Business Center and the way your Google Local Listings display in Google Results.
You must have a Google Master Account to be able to claim and update your Google Local Business Information.
Note: If you have an AdWords, GMail, Google Analytics Account, etc. you already have a Google Master Account, so it is that login you will need to use to CLAIM or Update your Google Local Listing information.
Acorn Customers: If you need help claiming your Google Local Business Listings, we are available to assist at normal consulting rates.
Don’t know if you already have a Google Account?
You only want to have 1 (ONE) Master Google account. Setting up a second one when you already have one MAY cause issues with Google. Click here and try all your E-Mail possibilities before you set up a new account to make sure you don’t have one lurking out there you may have forgotten about.
If you are SURE you don’t have a Google account you may sign up for one clicking here.
Note: Once you’ve Claimed your local listings, you will be able to go back and edit the information at any time. You will do this by following Steps 1 and 2 and then clicking on the Local Business Center Icon in your Google Master Account.
How to Claim, or see if you need to Claim your Local Listing…
Step 1: Go to Google http://www.google.com/
Step 2: Click Sign In in upper right hand corner and enter your Google Master Account userid and pw.
Step 3: Click MAPS in upper left hand corner
Step 4: Enter your Physical Address including city, state and zip
Step 5: Click your listing on the left and watch for the “bubble” of Google Information to show up on the map to the right.
Step 6: On the “bubble” of Google Information on the Map, click EDIT.
At the Bottom of the “bubble” if you see:
This listing has been claimed in Local Business Center and can only be edited by the owner.
Skip to Step 7…
At the Bottom of the “bubble” if you see: Are you the owner? Claim your business
Click the link “Claim your business”
Step 7: Now fill in or update all of your information, starting with Country, then Company/Organization
- Help Note 1: Remember to include the words Bed and Breakfast in your Name. We’ve seen higher Local Business listing results when Inns include these words in their name.
- Help Note 2: Make sure you add all of your information as Google has it listed in their example areas (usually below each field). For example, when you key in your phone number, use parentheses around your area code rather than just hyphens. When keying in your web site URL, use http (example: https://acorn-is.com, rather than just www.acorn-is.com).
- Help Note 3: If a Web Surfer chooses your listing by clicking your Inn name from the list of options beside the map, most trackers DO NOT log it as a Google map referral, but instead as a regular organic listing. If the customer goes into the local map listing (IE: they click on # of reviews) and then chooses your URL from the local listing screen, then most trackers WILL track it as coming from Google Maps. If you use a statistics tracking product that allows “Query Term Tracking”, such as Urchin, you may set your URL as follows so you know if the customer is clicking on a truly organic listing, or the local results to the right of the map. You may set this up to any “Query Tracking” phrase you like. We’ve used tracker=googlelocal in the example below. Just remember what you set it to so you may watch for it when you review your traffic stats.
- Help Note 4: When you get to description, you have 200 characters with which to describe your business. Use good descriptive words that fit together in a short paragraph, make sure to include Location IE: City + State + Bed and Breakfast, and any niche phrases for your property. (Example: Charming bed and breakfast lodging accommodations located in the heart of XYZ city, State. We offer weekend specials, holiday packages and delicious complimentary breakfast.)
Step 8: Choose your Categories. Try to confine your categories to Google’s pre-defined categories. For example, Bed & Breakfast is a pre-defined category. You can find pre-defined categories by starting to type in categories to see what will pop up. Try all sorts of categories, such as Wedding Venue, Spa, Resort, Lodge etc. You have up to 5 Categories that you may define.
Step 9: Set your Hours of Operation. Unless you have a specific set of business hours, you may choose to leave this one marked “I prefer not to specify operating hours”.
Step 10: Payment Options, enter all your payment options.
Step 11: Upload Photos. Google does have size requirements, so you may have to make your photos smaller to load them. You can add up to 10 photos. If you have outside accounts where you have photos such as BedandBreakfast.com, you may already have photos loaded that you may be unaware of, you may add to these by simply submitting more.
Step 12: You have the opportunity to upload Videos. Your video must be loaded on You Tube before you add videos to Google Local Business.
Step 13: Additional Details Section. This is a very important section from a marketing standpoint. Use this area to add in details about your Inn. If you need assistance, our Marketing Team can help you choose the best phrases for Local to place you on. These need to match up with your SEO Marketing phrases you KNOW your guests are typing. Here are a few examples, but you need to match what you are selling when you key in your Additional Details to your account.
- “YOUR CITY” Events : Baby Showers, Reunions, Wedding Showers
- “YOUR CITY” Weddings : Elopement Packages, Ceremony Location, Commitment Ceremony
- “YOUR CITY” Getaways : Weekend Getaways, Romantic Getaways, Honeymoons
Additional Details provides the business owner with a wonderful opportunity to market your business in the Local Map area to match what you are marketing in the Organic listings. Having your site show up in both Local and Organic gives you expanded exposure at a low cost.
Step 14: Click CONTINUE to verify your listing. If you are available to answer the phone that Google has on your local business account (they will show you the number before you click to validate) you can verify your place of business over the phone. If so, click Validate by Phone. Then click the CALL ME NOW button. Under the button you will see a PIN. When Google calls you, enter your PIN as provided on the screen. As you handle the phone call, you will notice on the web screen once you successfully key in your PIN that “Your business is now verified!” If you don’t want to verify by phone, or Google simply doesn’t provide you the phone option for verification, you may choose to have Google send you a postcard with verification instructions instead. The postcard option can take up to 2 weeks to receive. Once you receive the postcard, simply log back into your Google Local account and key the pin they send you to verify your account.
Once your account is verified, log back into your Local Business Account and you may proceed on to Step 15 should your marker location be incorrect.
Step 15: Review the location of your marker on the map. Make sure your marker location is correct. If it isn’t, click: “Fix incorrect marker location” and move the marker to the correct place, and then click save changes.
- Another function of Google Local Business is Coupons. You can click on the Coupons tab to add coupons to your business listing for free.
- The more POSITIVE reviews you can obtain for your business (such as Tripadvisor.com, Frommers, BnbFinder.com and/or BedandBreakfast.com) you receive the higher your local listing may climb in the local placement for different local phrases.
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We at Acorn continually try to provide our customers with accurate step by step instructions, but please know that there may be times when what we have written no longer coincides with the topic of choice. Please always refer back to the actual product page of the topic in discussion to read the up to date information should you experience problems with the instructions provided by Acorn.
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