Have you ever wondered if SEO’s agree on what you should do to improve your local Google search ranking and your ranking in Bing and Yahoo?
According to the US Census Bureau, the are over 29 million small business firms and establishments in the US. That’s a lot hay for your needle to be found in. What can you possibly do to stand out from 29 million other businesses in the local search results?
In 2009, 63% of consumers and small business owners were using web search to find local businesses according to Nielson. Though I couldn’t find a more recent figure, you have to assume those numbers have grown, and will continue to grow.
If you’re getting it how you can leverage local search, then your competition is getting your customers… there’s no disputing this!
So SEO’s don’t agree on everything on how to leverage this, but they do agree local businesses who ignore this are simply letting customers walk right by. So here are 10 things most local SEO experts will agree you should do…
2. Add pictures, video or both to your profiles
3. Submit or find other listings of your business. You can submit your business or service to places like Localeze . There are many, many more. I’ll provide a list in an upcoming post.
The challenge is fixing errors. Many sites create these listings on their own, and often they contain errors. Thus you have customers coming to your business saying “Your website says…” and you know your website doesn’t say this. It was found on a local directory listing.
4. Get customer reviews, particular on sites like Google Places, and the top directories.
5. Don’t try to manipulate the reviews. No company is perfect. If you have 25 reviews, and they’re all 5 out 5 stars. Well, that’s not real, and the search engines know this.
6. Have a complete physical mailing address. No P.O. boxes. Have the same address on your website.
7. Use a local phone number on your local profiles, and use the same number on all profiles. Avoid the use of 800 or toll-free prefixes.
8. Give local consumers/searchers what they are looking for. Do not use words that are search terms for things you don’t focus on. If you terms that only have a casual relationship to the main focus of your business, can you guess what will happen when a consumer finds your listing?
That’s right… they leave, and they don’t call you, and they never come back.
9. If your business has multiple locations, then each location should have a totally, and completely separate listing. No exceptions, no arguments. This is a fact. Do not try to combine them into one.
10. Do all of these things to get on the right track. If you treat your customers right, your listing will pick up traction. Don’t expect an overnight move to the top. If everything is done right, your listing can easily take 6 to 10 weeks to migrate to the top of the listings.
I know everyone wants instant results. If the competition is low, then the results can come in just weeks. However, if your competition is high, then it will take a little longer to move to the top.
The fact is, for the long-term profit, the wait is worth every anxious day as your profile migrates to the front page.
To find out where you currently stand in the local listings, just click the link below, and enter your primary business phone number…