Type “builders’ merchant near me” into Google’s search bar. Is your business the first result? If so, congratulations: you’ve mastered local search engine optimisation (SEO), or you’re just extremely lucky!

As you can see from the results page, searches with local intent offer an opportunity for your business listing to appear above other search results, just underneath a map.

If you’d like to start climbing Google’s ranks and take a shot at claiming these top results, you’ll need to create and manage a Google My Business Listing.

Claiming your listing

Head over to the My Business website, and search for your business – you’ll need to create a free Google account if you don’t have one already.

If you see your business in the list, claim it.

If there’s no match, add your business.

The next step is verification – Google needs to know that you really are an owner or authorised manager at the business before you can start making big changes to your listing.

Usually, the verification process consists of Google sending a code through the post to your business address. You then need to enter the code online to receive full access to your account.


First of all, before thinking about keywords and other SEO elements, add accurate information to your My Business listing. Opening times, your business category, business name, and contact details must all be up-to-date and accurate.

Next, upload several high quality images of your business. These should tempt new customers to pay a visit – so make them appealing and high resolution!


You’re given space to write a short introduction of your business. Here, you should use keywords without disrupting flow. For example: “XYZ stores is a DIY shop in York, catering to trade and DIY customers for 20 years.~

Your introduction shouldn’t be copied from your website – it should be entirely original, concisely explaining the main services you offer in an appealing way.

Reviews and Insights

Once you’ve verified your My Business account, you can easily track incoming user reviews and also post responses. These responses are vital to your online reputation – a considered response to a negative review can significantly reduce (or even reverse) its impact.

Additionally, monitor the insights that Google provides you. Check the visibility of your business information, photos, and the numbers of clicks through to your website.  This information can show you how effective your listing is, and if certain areas aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped.


By claiming, verifying and populating your Google My Business listing, you’re probably already one step ahead of your competitors. It’s quick and easy to carry out these processes and manage your listing, and the results can be significant – particularly when coupled with other local SEO efforts.

When you carried out that Google search at the start of this article, you were seeing what potential new customers would see. The value of having your business front and centre of the search results page for your chosen keywords is highly significant. Give customers a fantastic first impression of your business and gain new custom.