If you serve customers from a local market, it’s critically important for your business to show up in Google’s local search results.

These search results are sometimes referred to as Google Maps listings.

They are most easily identified as the results marked or ranked from letter A – G.

Here’s a screenshot of Google local search results on a normal computer screen:

local seo

And here’s a screenshot of the local search results on a mobile device such as an iPhone:

google local iphone search results

Getting your business into the local search results is important for mobile devices such as an iPhone because these results typically show up first before any of the other results.

More importantly, mobile search results include a “tap to call” button, making it easy for customers to call your business.

So what’s the best strategy for a getting your business into Google’s local search results?

The answer is really two fold:

1)  Have a Google local business page, and…

2)  Create a consistent footprint of citations across multiple local directories.

Your Google local business page

First, see if your business is already listed on Google.

Do this by going to the Google’s local business page tool (make sure you are logged in to Google) and search for your business using your business name and city.

If you see your business listed already, then proceed with cleaning up your information and the verification process.

If you don’t see your business, then proceed with adding your business and then requesting verification.

It’s important to get every detail about your business address correct, especially for the next step which is creating citations.

Creating a consistent footprint of citations

First, let me explain what a citation is.

A citation is a listing for your business name, address, and phone number that’s published on some other site other than your own website.

For example, if your business is listed in Yahoo’s business directory, this would count as one citation.

The objective is to create as many citations for your business as possible.

But, you don’t want to create just any citation on any ol’ site.

You want to create citations on the highest quality sites possible.

High quality sites for local citations include Yahoo, Facebook, Yelp, Merchant Circle, and many others.

In conclusion

This may seem like a generalized description of how to go about effective local SEO, but the steps described above represent the most relevant factors in determining what business gets the top rankings.

My goal was to boil it down the single most effective strategy for your business to rank in Google’s local search results.