With more people than ever going online first to search for local products and services, it is critical for businesses to claim their local business listings on the prominent search engines and directories to receive free perpetual local advertising.
If you are a local business selling primarily or exclusively to a local market, try searching Google a product or service your business offers along with location information to see if/where your business shows up in the local listings. If you can’t find your business in the sea of competition, then take note.
Local Search Checklist
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checklist provided to businesses to improve local listings position in the search results for businesses and consumers seeking local products and services. This is particularly important for businesses whose target market is local or regional. For instance, a restaurant, doctor, dentist, lawyer, insurance agent or another other provider whose market is defined locally since these products and services are location based and delivered in person.
Today, like never before, consumers and businesses rely on the Internet to connect with local businesses when they are at home and now, with the broad adoption of the “smart phones”, while on the go. Therefore, it is no longer sufficient for a business to market locally through the print yellow pages and/or offline directories.
These means, that at a minimum, businesses need to ensure that they are listed on the most popular local search engines including the most popular local search sites: Google Places, Bing Local, Yahoo! Local and Yellowpages.com and InsiderPages.com.
These local search engines factor in user and business location when returning users search results that connect them to businesses that are both close to them and relevant to what they are looking for. Users who click on local business listings should be considered prequalified since these are people that are in market and by the nature of their searches, and have expressed purchase intent by clicking on the local listing.
Since the location of most businesses are fixed, then businesses who want to rank higher on relevant search results for their local geography need to perform certain tasks to ensure their business is ranked highly so that their listing is viewed and possibly clicked.
The following video produced by SEOMoz.org, a thought leader in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry providing start of the art tools and techniques used by SEO practitioners from around the world (including eBiz ROI), provides a local SEO checklist that anyone can follow to help their business.
Local SEO Checklist Summary:
- Register your business with major search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Baido, Yandex,etc.)
- Claim Business Listings on all major local search portals (e.g. Yellow Pages, YP.com, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisors, CitySearch, Yelp)
- Get listed on key local sites which can include local media sites, chamber of commerce that you business is a member of, local business and professional associations, local business directories
- Perform competitive research on listing sources of high-ranking sites for your keyword
- Periodically Review Your Review and based on results, take actions in your business to stimulate more positive feedback and address those business behaviors that have resulted in negative feedback
- Audit your site’s usability, accessibility, and content to ensure that users can find what they came to your site looking for and make it easy for them to take the desired action
- Ensure that your content is align with your target market’s needs
For those interested in the local SEO Checklist and learning more about applying these tactics to improve your local business online visibility, you are encouraged to take that all important first step by contacting eBiz ROI who specializes in enabling businesses to grow sales through the Internet while maximizing their marketing ROI (Return on Investment).