Submitting your Business Locations to Google Local Search

Need a store locator for your business?

Get started with a free account and create your store locator in minutes. Then, submit it to Google Local to make sure you're not missing out on location-based searches.

What is Local Search?

It's simply search that takes location (often the user's current position) into consideration. If you're looking for a cup of coffee, a cafe down the road is generally more relevant than one ten miles away.

Why is this Important if I have Several Business Locations?

If you want your individual stores, dealers or outlets to appear in local search results such as on 'Google My Business' you need to submit store info in a certain way.

Anyone who's used Google Maps or Bing Maps (or Yahoo Maps or...) to find a restaurant or train station knows that it contains all sorts of geocoded businesses. In many cases the search giants use data from yellow page style directories to automatically create the 'bare bones' of a local listing (name, address and possibly phone number). This is often fine for small businesses with a single location but less ideal for multiple locations. It's better to explicitly define your locations rather than leave it to chance (or, rather, an unknown algorithm). In some instances local listings generated automatically by search engines get it wrong.

Local search results example
Example of a Local Search Result with Extra Content

So being in control of your listing is a good idea. For small businesses with one or two stores it makes most sense to add them manually using the online form provided by Google. However organizations with more than a few locations are better off creating and uploading a spreadsheet, in much the same way as you do in Blipstar. We explore this option below.

Is it Worth Adding My Business Locations And Providing Useful Content?

Err, yes! Once you've submitted your locations you can add images (high quality photos really help a local listing stand out), descriptions and any other relevant information (like opening times) so people can discover not only where you are, but what you do there. This will give you an immediate advantage over many nearby competitors; not many organizations have fully grasped the importance of local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and are only represented in search results by the minimum 'bare bones' data.

...Blipstar's handy export tool makes submitting your locations to Google a breeze

Given the rise in customers using mobile devices to access the web, local search is becoming increasingly important. Using SEO to ensure high rankings in traditional searches doesn't automatically mean you'll have a prominent position when a user performs a location-based geo-search. There are no magic bullets in SEO, despite what many consultants would have you believe. That said, letting search engines know where your stores are in a formalized way at least gives you a solid foundation for letting people know about your company and what you provide. It's not about 'gaming the system', but putting your best foot forward.

Instructions for Exporting your Store Data to Google Local Search

So, you know what local search is, and why it's important, but what's that got to do with Blipstar?

To make life easier Blipstar can use your store location data to generate a spreadsheet in the required format, ready for submission to Google via the 'My Business Locations' admin console. It's important to note that this process is only relevant if you own the stores in question. If you sell a product through a network of different retailers then you can't add a local listing; instead, each individual retailer would have to do apply. The sames applies to sales representatives covering certain territories - local listings aren't applicable (unless you have a physical presence somewhere).

Tip: The following guide is for businesses with 5+ locations. If you only have a handful of locations then we suggest using manual data input instead.

1. Define the type of business
You need to be logged in to your account to use the Google Local export tool

2. Download spreadsheet
Google requires a text file in a certain format, which we can generate for you instantly from your location data.

3. Upload file to Google
  • Create a Google account (if you don't already have one)
  • Go to My Business Locations (once logged in).
  • Click on Import locations from file.
  • Click the Import file... button and select your downloaded file.
  • Make any required changes and Submit.
  • In order to verify that the locations are genuine and you are physically located there a verification process is used. This is typically done by a code or PIN being sent to the address which you can then enter online.

So to Recap...

Relying on search to let people find your 'bricks and mortar' outlets is no replacement for a dedicated store locator tool*. However presenting your business location data in a way that search engines can easily understand (LSEO?) offers a simple way to increase your exposure and, ultimately, increase footfall.

Even better, Blipstar's handy export tool makes submitting your locations to Google a breeze. And the tool is available to all Blipstar users, irrespective of how many locations they have.

Get started...

* We would say that though!

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