The most important step for a local business to be found online by its pool of prospects is to claim their business listings in the search engines. Local listings are usually shown with a map, with identifying icons showing the locations of the local businesses. This leads to local listings have a better click-thru than traditional organic listings, because the local listings may include rankings, reviews, testimonials, and images. This builds an additional level of trust for the searcher that your listing will meet their request. Ensure that your business can be found online and verify that your business is listed correctly.
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You may wonder why I selected Local Directory Listings before Search Engine Optimization of your website as the most important thing for a small business to do.
- Recently search engines have started to list local listings on the first page of a search result, even if the business with the local listing does not have a webpage!
- In addition, search engines have started to integrate the business web page and their local listing as a search result, leading many searchers to click on the local listing first.
- Search engines have started to interpret many general search terms as requests for a local business listing. For example, a search for “sushi” results in the first page of Google listing local Sushi restaurants, not recipes or fish stories.
- Search engines scrape the Internet for local business information, and automatically add them to their local listings. Until you “claim” your business, there is a potential for mistakes or out-of-date information in your listing, causing missed prospects.
- Once you have claimed your listing, you can get metrics on your listing, such as: the number of times your listing appeared, what keywords people used, and what actions they took on your listing – got driving directions, went to your website, or called on a mobile device.
Workshop Two includes:
- Presenting an understanding of the Local Directory hemisphere and the influence of a high local listing ranking.
- Claiming or adding your business to Google, Bing and Yahoo