Online Local Search Marketing is equivalent to placing your business on a billboard on a super busy highway with just the right passerbys for your business.
Here are ten tips to help you get found on Local Search.
1) Check out your business on Local Directories
There are literally thousands of local or niche directories with your business information. Perform a search query of your business name and different variations of your address and phone #. Many of these local directories offer great free services and provide information to help you get more customers.
I recommend you keep a record of the link in a spreadsheet with the link, business name, address, and phone #.
2) Consistency is Key
It is very important (as we have posted before) to keep your business name consistent across the Internet. This will help with ranking as Search Engines use these citations as one way to determine the accuracy and relevancy of your business’ data. So help out the Search Engines and make sure that the data is exactly the same. Remember even minor details can make a difference. For example, Suite vs. Ste, Road vs. Rd.
3) Be Submissive
Sorry, couldn’t resist that tag line – But the bottom line is that you should submit your information to as many directories as you can. Create a plan so that you spend at least 15 minutes a week checking and submitting. You can use great services like UBL (Universal Business Listing), but their submission service only includes a small fraction of the directories available on line. Submitting to these directories has great SEO benefits, such as link building and citation creation, it also establishes a wide presence across the Internet helping potential customers find you.
4) Google Places
Create and maintain your Google Places listing, but only after you have submitted your business to FREE directories like SuperPages, YellowBook, Yelp, MyLocally.
Why? You will be seen as an authority off the bat if your business is listed and updated in other directories.
If you have already created your business in Google Places, submit your business in other directories and then update your listing by adding a picture, a link, or adding a new business category. Google will scrape the Internet upon resubmission to determine relevancy and authority.
5) Build Links
I find myself writing about link building more and more these days. Links are an important, but often misunderstood and misused SEO tactic. Links should be natural and should include geo-specific keywords for the anchor text. Be certain to include joining local chambers of commerce and other local networking sites that provide links back to your site(s).
6) Optimize Your Site for Geo-Specific Keywords
Optimize your site with geo-specific keywords, but don’t over optimize. Be certain that you include keywords on every page. Also include your business, address and phone # on every page as well.
7) Multi-Location Optimization
If you have several locations, create either a separate web site or separate pages for these locations. Local Search on Google makes up 20% of all Searches and mobile is making geo-optimizing even more important than ever. It will help your customers find you at the location nearest to them and will let Search Engines know that you have separate locations. Be certain to submit to directory listings for these different locations.
8) Be Social
Add a facebook fan page for each location, don’t just create it and expect it to grow. Include your facebook link on all of your sites. Encourage others to Like or Follow you and participate on a consistent basis. Be certain to guide consumers back to your site and include promotional messages to your audience. Offer them deals and reasons to promote and do business with you.
If you are not blogging yet, you should be. Blog posts should contain geo-specific anchor texts. Be sure not to overdo it, make sure it seems natural or you will be penalized by the major Search Engines.
10) Solicit Opinions, Comments, Reviews and Interaction
If you are writing a blog or participating in forums, ask your readers to participate with comments, opinions, etc. On your web site and directories encourage people to write a review by asking for their Feedback.
By following these ten basic steps, you can improve your online visibility and help your business get more customers.