Is local business important to you?
If so, there are two pieces of the online puzzle you need to have in place. Finda is the one free directory listing your business must have in New Zealand. We aren’t biased towards Finda. There are great directories out there that cater to specific target markets and industries. These can be a really important part of your link strategy. It is simply a fact that Finda are the directory that have a partnership with Google, and the listings are fed directly into the Google juggernaut for search and Google maps search results. This ties in with Google Places and they work together.
So the other must have is the free Google Places. It’s not an exaggeration to say it is a must have for every single business in New Zealand. There are so many good reasons why you must have a Google Places page, and no bad ones. Obviously it is a native Google product and they like you using their products, and it’s them ranking you in searches!
The idea is that when people search, you have a Google Maps result come up. This works really well when people are using mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. They get your location on a map, and nice features like contact details that are instantly clickable to call you from their phone. It behaves like a mobile optimised website. There are all sorts of other bells and whistles for displaying branding, images, opening hours, deals and general content.
The disappointing thing with both Finda and Google is that they are not especially easy to deal with. Especially when you are discovering an old listing for your business and you want to take control of it again.
They also have reasonably convoluted processes for sending out postcards or confirmation codes or even phone calls. It all seems a bit hit and miss at times. Some of this is to do with them being careful about security and being sure who they are dealing with. You wouldn’t want someone else getting hold of your Google Places page and changing content.
Here are some tips for getting you started.
#1 Update your Finda listing first!
Claim and Upgrade Your Existing Finda Account
- In Google search for your business name followed by “Finda”
- If it exists browse to the page and click on REPORT LISTING ERROR.
- Then follow the proces to upgrade your business details and submit to Finda, they will confirm who you are and make the changes.
Setup a New Finda Account
- If you can’t find an existing listing, setup a new one.
- Do this at http://www.finda.co.nz/account/register/
- There are decisions to make about descriptions (making sure you SEO these), locations/regions and categories.
Setup Your Google Places Account
- Start this process at http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter by clicking on the red SIGN UP button.
- It is a reasonably long process with a lot of decisions to make. So keep in mind your key search phrases, and approach your Google Business Places page like it is your Mobile website. These places pages rank really well and appear on smart phones and tablets. The content is everything people are generally looking for when they are mobile, and it’s in a mobile friendly format.
- At the end of the process Google will confirm a PIN with you by Post or by phone if you are lucky. This can take some time. If you stay the course and get it completed, then well done!