No Website No Problem

red pin on google places map of local town

The folks at City Hall narrowly missed the giant drawing pin which came from nowhere

If you own a local business, you don’t always need a website to get new customers from the internet. Geoff explains why, and what steps you can take to get found online by local people.

I needed a haircut last week. Hair a bit messy; needed to be smart for meeting clients and going on holiday. So I opened up my smartphone, and typed in my Google search box for Barbers in Fleet. No website appeared first, just a map with red pins on, and a list of those barbers.

I checked the opening times of the barber listed at the top, checked to see if any reviews were disastrous (they weren’t), then went and got my haircut. Simple. But at no point did I check their website. The info I looked at was from their Google Places listing.

google places listings appear for barbers in fleet search

a typical search for a local product or service will show google places listings first

If you are a business wanting to be found by local people online, you need to maximise your Google Places listing – after all it’s free. It just needs a little effort. Types of businesses that will be mainly found this way are solicitors, accountants, car repair/MOT, takeaways, restaurants, pubs, printers.

Completing your Google Places listing is simple:

  1. Claim. Go to and complete as many details as you can about your business – opening times, photos, description, address, etc.
  2. Submit. Once you submit, Google will send you a postcard with a 4 digit PIN number to your business address
  3. Verify. Log back in and enter the PIN. You have then verified your listing and address.

That’s it, after a few days your listing will be live. But will it be at the top over and above your competition? This is where you want to be to attract the most interest. Click here for 10 tips to optimise your local listing to get you above your competition, and stay there.

  • Posted in: SEO

During the day, Geoff lives and breathes search engine optimisation (SEO), with a focus on driving more enquiries and phone calls from his clients' websites. The rest of the time, he enjoys a hectic family life with his wife and 2 young kids in Fleet, Hampshire

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