This is part of a series about a local wine retailer’s business advantage on the internet.
80% of what a person buys is within 5, 15 or 20 miles of their residence
The evidence is conflicting as to how many miles but I’m not sure it really matters. The point is you have a natural advantage as the local wine retailer.
So despite how competitive the big national internet retailers are you can still get your fair share of what is probably a large local market. In fact many people go online in the belief that their sales will be mainly national whereas they remain local.
How to do set up your wine retail business on Google Local Business Center
Make sure you have a Google account (getting a gmail account is the easiest way to do this).
Submit your site at the Google Local Business Center . Note it use to be called Local Google but it has been incorporated into Google Maps.
Just follow the instructions, Google will ask you to:
1. Fill out the basic information about your business. This includes:
* Company/Organization: This is the official/registered name of your business.
* Address (required): The address should look exactly the way you’d write it on a paper mailing envelope.
* Phone Number (required): Be sure to include your area code with your phone number.
* Website: This can be a maximum of 255 characters.
2. Click Next.You’ll now have the opportunity to provide the following information about your business:
* Categories: Enter several categories to describe your business, to make it easier for others to find when they search Maps. Google will automatically suggest categories as you type.
* Hours of operation: Select your hours of operation using the dropdown menus.
* Payment options: Select the checkboxes next to the payment methods that your business accepts.
* Photos: Use the photo uploader to add a photo from your computer, or specify a URL to add a photo from the web.
* Video: To add a video, upload it to YouTube and enter its URL.
* Additional details: Use this section to add your own information fields to your listing. For example, parking availability, or whether your business allows pets.
Google will verify this either by phone or postcard. I suggest you be beside your business telephone and choose verification by phone. I’ve found mail takes a while. You’ll get an automatic phone call where you enter a code (so this is the quickest way also).
Sometimes there will already be a listing of your business (‘caz google is smart) so you need to “claim” this listing, and follow the same steps above.
Google loves this!
So when people search for a wine retailer with a zip code, suburb or city your listing will gain prominence and ranking depending on how relevant it is to the search query. In Google Maps you’ll get a little red bubble with your listing on the side – now we’re talking! This is really assisting driving online and in-store traffic. The latter especially from Google Maps.
All the work that the Google search engine does comes down to filtering out the 90% of the pages on the web that are spam. If it has verified you are a real business then you’ll stand in good stead for high rankings. Usually Google would have to rely on yellow pages and other third parties to assess whether you are local to a person’s search query or not, and it seems queasy in accepting the accuracy of these.
What % of your business is local? What % of your internet sales are local?