Does your local business come up in Google when someone in your city searches for your products or services?

If not, keep reading to learn how your local business can increase visibility in Google search results.

For locally owned businesses, the marketing game is changing dramatically.  People simply aren’t looking for local products and services the same way anymore.

Locally owned businesses can’t keep throwing money at The Yellow Pages or the newspaper and hope to generate new customers. eads.

Unfortunately, people aren’t using these resources to find locally owned businesses.

And there’s a reason for this…

It’s because customers (the people in your city) is turning to none other than Google, and social media sites, to find the best local businesses, products, and services.

And why would they when you can simply fire up Google on my computer or my mobile phone, and instantly find businesses that meet your needs by simply typing in (or speaking) a search query?

Google is the platform of choice for customers to instantly find any business, product, or service they want or need.

And Google is always the first choice for customers on both computers and mobile phones.

How Local Businesses Can Succeed On Google

So if Google is where all of the local customers are who are searching for businesses, products, and service, doesn’t it make sense that you’d want to get your businesses found in the Google search results?

That sounds obvious, I know.  And I don’t mean to simplify something that can otherwise be complicated.  Because even though a local business knows that being found in Google is key to their success, there’s still the question of how do I get my local business found in Google.

Below are the three ways any local business can get found in Google search results and connect with high quality customers who are searching for your products and services.

#1:  Google Places

Google Places is becoming one of the most important factors in connecting a local business to new customers.  If you do a search for any product or service and attach a city name to it, more than likely you’ll see Google Places listings directly at the top of the search results.

And it’s even more profound on mobile phones.  Because of the location aware GPS services commonly found on smartphones, people don’t even need to enter the name of the city along with their search query – Google will know where you are and adjust your search results accordingly.

As someone searches for churches in Atlanta, or used cars in athens gaGoogle Places pages are integrated into the search results on Google.  And in most cases, the Google Places pages are shown at or new the top.

So building a Google Places page for your business is critically important to your long term success in connecting with new customers who are searching for what you offer.

#2:  Your Website

Because of Google Places occupying the top search results in Google for local search queries, it makes you wonder if websites are even relevant anymore.  After all, if Google is going to be displaying Google Places in the top search results, where does my website come in?

Believe it or not, your website actually plays a key role in determining where your website ranks in the Google Places search results.

I wrote a couple weeks ago about how important your website is in adding authority to your Google Places pages and rankings.  With some recent updates from Google, places pages are now pulling in meta data from business websites.  This means, Google is actually using the information and data from your business website and adding it to your Google Places pages.  And when it gets added to your Google Places page, it will then influence where your website is ranked in Google.

So having a properly optimized website, and properly optimized meta tags within your website, is critically important in helping your business connect to new customers who are searching for your business, product, and services in Google or on mobile phones.

#3:  Content

Finally, the third way you can gain highly targeted exposure in Google for your local business is through the use of content.  Some people refer to this as ‘content marketing’ or ‘article marketing’.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to influence potential customers to come into your business and spend money on your products and services.

What I’m talking about here is writing informative, helpful articles about your business, products, or services.  And as these articles are crawled and indexed by Google, they will become available in Google search results where you can now connect to new customers searching for what you offer.

But not only does the use of content marketing help your business gain exposure in Google search results, if your content is helpful and informative, then you’ll help in building your brand as well.  Imagine how excited and impressed a customer will be after they’ve read a helpful tip that solved their problem, and that tip (or article) was published on your website or company blog.

Plus, as you write more content about your different business products or services, the more overall pages you have available in Google search results for potential customers to connect with.  Writing articles about a wide range of topics built around your business is key to reaching a prospects who are using various search phrases to find what you offer.

The bottom line!

The bottom line here is that through the use of Google Places, your website, and content marketing, your local business can gain a substantial advantage over your competition.  And the next time someone searches for what you offer, your business will be found and your phone will ring!