Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Using Google Local Business

You may have noticed that when searching Google for a local business (because, who keeps that giant book of phone numbers handy anymore) that a local map pops up with nearby businesses that might fit the bill.

What you may not be aware of is that Google now gives local business owners the tools to customize these results. Google Local Business allows you to enter all kinds of info:

  • Name
  • Website
  • Hours
  • Description
  • Submit Photos
  • Post news stories (30 day life)

With about 30 minutes of work, I was able to put my tiny operation on the map with some detailed information. Not bad for a little extra work on my part. And since the service is free, it is considerably cheaper than a phone book ad.

Another interesting aspect of this feature is it allows customers to leave a review of your service. Imagine the browsing habits of a person casually searching for a martial arts school in your area. Google brings back dozens of hits, and of course, the reader's eyes are drawn to the first few results. Imagine if yours stood out from the rest, on a map, with detailed info and several 5 star reviews. Potentially, their search is over!

For the amount of effort (very little) on your part, and the payback (huge) this is something I think all studio owners should try.