You Cannot Afford to Ignore Local Business Listings

by Chris Marentis April 17th, 2013 

Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are constantly evolving, and they have already moved through several stages. While many of the SEO strategies of the past still maintain some of their relevance, new strategies are consistently coming to the forefront and making antiquated search engine marketing approaches obsolete. Seven years ago, the idea of local business listing optimization was unknown among the search engine marketing community. Now, it has become one of the best ways to generate search engine marketing success.

Search Has Gone Local

A few years ago, Google made the conscious shift towards locally targeted search engine results. The general rule of thumb among search engine marketers is as Google goes, we go. Google set the local trend by pushing local search results. Search engine marketers then followed suit by optimizing and marketing towards local search results.

Ranking Well In Local Search Results Is The Key To Online Business Success

There are several local business listing services available online, but none of them is as prominent and powerful as the Google+ page for business. If your business does not have a Google+ page for business, go get one. If your business already has a Google+ page, make sure it is fully completed and accurately optimized.

Link building is still an important online marketing strategy, but it has taken a back seat to more relevant search engine marketing approaches, such as local business listing optimization and local citations. Local search results are incredibly important to Google. These results are so important that Google has set aside prime real estate on its first page of results exclusively for local business listings. Oftentimes, you will hear the space on the first page of results reserved for local business listings referred to as the 7-Pack.

What is the 7-Pack?

The 7-Pack refers to the real estate on the first page of Google results that is reserved for local business listings. Under normal circumstances, Google will display seven results in the local business listings space. However, Google takes liberties with this space, and does not always show seven results, depending on the nature of the search that is performed.

Where do the Results in the 7-Pack Come From?

The results in the 7-Pack are considered by Google to be the most optimized and relevant local business listings for the search that has been performed. The results come from Google+ for Business, which is Google's local business listing service. The better optimized your Google+ for Business page is, the more likely it is to appear in Google's 7-Pack for relevant searches and on the home page of Google.

As you can see, local business listing optimization (especially through the Google+ for Business page) is extremely important, and, if done correctly, can easily land your business listing on the first page of Google results in a quicker fashion than you may think.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

Surefire Social

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3 Responses to “You Cannot Afford to Ignore Local Business Listings”

  1. Anidor says:

    Tx for the info. one question:
    Once the pages moved from places to plus, Google duplicated the original page from places and created a local page on plus.
    meanwhile I opened a business g+ page for my company and now I have 3 different pages to the same business – 1 in google places, 1 local in google places (created automatically by google) and one as a g+ page..

    I cant edit my local page on + (only from places) which is very frustrating
    Do you knowif all the pages suppose to merge someday?

    and 1 more: if you need to open a new local listing – do you open it from g+ or from google places?

  2. Great post Chris! I would also recommend creating a Google Community page. We had a Google + page for our blog/business and we weren't very impressed with the follower count. We created a Google Community page and had 27+ followers within the first couple hours. I highly recommend using both the Google + page, business page, and community page… And like Anidor says, this is kind of redundant. But when it's free, I guess every little bit helps.

    • Thanks for the recommendation Brian! I will definitely look into creating a community page. This does make sense because I receive a great deal of engagement when I post to various communities.