Today, the primary way to find a local business is online and it's use is growing rapidly.
With the rise of smart phones, personal devices, and SMS messaging consumers are now carrying the Yellow Pages in their pocket or briefcase.
While purchasing a Yellow Pages ad does get you into the local online search directories, many businesses have no idea how to improve their ranking or position within the local listings. Many businesses believe that the service they bought the listing from will maintain their listing and help them get to the top of the search engines. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For Google Places, many business owners don't realize they may already have a local search listing. If you search google with a city name, along with a type of business, such as Salt Lake City Electrician, you will find a local listing featuring a map. Many times, you will actually find several listings.
As usual, Google doesn't provide the actual steps you need to follow to get to the top of those listings. However, some key things to consider are...
1) Claiming Your Listing On Google Places
2) Update Your Company Information
3) Choosing The Correct Categories For Your Business
4) Add Photos To Your Listing
5) Add Videos To Your Listing
6) Create A Discount Offer Or Coupon
7) Getting Your Customers to leave Reviews
In many markets and professions, simply claiming your Google Places listing will help move you up in the listings. In many business categories, many of the top listings remain unclaimed. Simply claiming yours, can help improve your search position.
Another very important part of local search optimization is customer reviews. Currently, quantity seems to play a more important part in improving listings than how good the review is. However, keep in mind that potential customers are far less likely to be calling you, if you have bad reviews.
You may already have reviews of your business that show up on your Google Places listing. Google aggregates data from many different business directory sites, allowing them to build a business page for you, even if you never knew it existed. These reviews come from sites such as Yelp.com, Zagat.com, and Restaurants.com
Claiming your own business listing page on these sites, gives you a change to monitor the reviews your business is getting and proactively respond to these reviews as they occur. Without monitoring your reviews in your local listings, you have no idea what customers are saying about your business.
For a complementary 30 minute consultation with Kevin on how you can improve your local search position, visit http://www.gurusforhire.com
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About Gurus For Hire: Marketing consultants specializing in online marketing. Please visit our site GurusForHire.com for more information and a free 30 minute consultation.