Here’s how the story goes:
“Ok, Google,” your customer says to their smart phone. “Thai restaurant near me.”
A split second later, Google answers back, giving the name and location of the three closest Thai restaurants. The odds are better than pretty good that your customer will go to one of those three locations for their lunch, and if your restaurant isn’t on that list, too bad for you.
This type of location based searching has more than doubled in the past year, which is very important to know if you run a restaurant, retail store, or any other type of business dependent on customers actually visiting your location. Appearing in the search results is dependent on having your location information listed correctly in the locations search engines draw their results from. There are six places your business information needs to be:
- Google: Far and away the most important search engine, Google uses the information in Google My Business accounts to generate results for near me searches.
- Facebook: Over the past year, Facebook has launched several tools, including beacons, that make it very useful for searching for nearby businesses. Make sure all the information on your Facebook business page is accurate.
- Apple Maps: Anyone using an iPhone or Apple watch to search will get location based data drawn from Apple Maps.
- Bing: Conventional wisdom says next to nobody uses Bing, but Siri does, and that’s more than enough reason to make sure your location is listed correctly there.
- Foursquare: Not only is the Foursquare app extremely popular on its own merits, many, many app developers use Foursquare’s data to power the near me search functionality they provide their users.
- Yelp: In some parts of the county, Yelp is where customers go first for information on all types of businesses. It doesn’t hurt to make sure your business information is listed correctly on this review site.