If you’re not in Google Local Business Centre now, add it as your next ‘to-do’.
It’s not only through Google Maps or Google Local Search that Local business listings are shown, it’s also through the normal search and mobile search results.
Google will check your location using your IP address, or if you’re signed in to a Google account, will use your address and will often show results closest to your location above the rest. Mobile Internet usage is on the increase, so getting your site established in the local mobile results can only give you an advantage. With your listing, you’re also getting a link from an authority site, and results are often ‘mashed up’ and displayed on different websites.
At a minimum, you should aim to get your primary business address into the listings, but if you add your alternative branches or locations you can cover a greater area – leading to greater levels of traffic. (You just need to make sure you can pick up the mail from there).
This is particularly important for businesses that service certain geographical locations, but you still benefit from greater traffic – even if you don’t expect to see your customers in person.
On a similar note, I read a great article which summarises the main ways to improve rankings for UK based sites in ‘UK only’ searches. The same principles apply to other countries too – so don’t be disheartened if you’re not in the United Kingdom.
And as Jan Klin states, with the introduction of Google Universal “Anyone not on the map is effectively non existent as far as the searcher is concerned. As you may remember from previous posts over 75% of all visits come from the ‘above the scroll’ positions.”
You can see his example here: