If your local business offers services in a specific location, you’ll want to get listed on local search directories like Google places.
Over 95% of consumers use Google to search for local businesses online.
I recently completed a real estate site for a client that only operates in one state and wanted to help them with Seo. This is the reason i thought i should also share this information with the readers of this blog.
In this post i’ll show you some actions you can take to get more business from your listing on several of the most popular local search directories as well as some simple yet effective on site optimization tips to support your search listings.
How Does Local Search Work?
As an example, if anyone types in Seattle Plumbers and you are a plumber in Seattle, your business details may show up above Google’s search normal results if you have a good ranking and have optimized your site for local search.
This screenshot shows how Google places listings are highlighted above the normal search results displaying both reviews and contact information so the searcher doesn’t even need to click through to your site.
Once you’ve signed into your Google account go to Google places and complete the listing information.
Add some key words which describe the main type of service your business offers.
Service Locations & Hours
Payment Options & Photo’s
Images are a great way to show prospective customers your business is professional.
Video’s & More
If you have an introductory video or testimonial video, upload it to your Google places profile.
Once you have submitted your information you’ll need to verify your Google Places listing by phone, sms or wait 2-3 weeks for a postcard.
Other Local Search Directories
Here’s a list of other local search directories you can list your local business on:
There’s many more business directories you can use to list your business on depending on your industry.
Optimizing for Local Search
Once you have listed your local business on applicable search directories you can increase your rankings further by:
- Adding your address & phone number on all pages in the header, footer or top of your sidebar. An easy way to add your local business contact information is to use WordPress hooks plugin if your theme doesn’t provide a widget in the area you want to display the information.
- Additionally, you can add your business info in hcard or vcard microformat. An easy way to do this is to install the Local Search SEO Contact Page plugin for WordPress.
- Create pages on your website specific for each physical location. If you offer services or product in a specific location you should create a page for that location. I.E for each county, suburb, district etc
- Add Google Maps on your website & blog for different locations your business serves. You can do this manually by embedding the code or installing a Google maps plugin.
Reviews, feedback & Testimonials
I’ve already written about the benefits of installing a WordPress customer reviews or testimonial plugin.
You’ll find many of the local search directories allow you to receive feedback via reviews which you can use to engage with and answer to.
How To Engage With Customers That Leave Negative Reviews
If your business receives a negative review, you should read the business owner responses to help turn a negative into a positive and resolve the situation with the customer. Be positive and engage with your customer to settle the dispute so you look more professional on Google Places.
Monitoring Your Local Search Results
If you haven’t already, setup Google Analytics to track your local search activity so you know whats working and whats not.
It takes times to climb the local search rankings like it does with all search results. It may take 3-12 months before you get start getting large amounts of traffic from Google places and other local search directories from your business listings.
What Do You Think?
Do you list your local business on the main search directories?
What other methods do you use to get more targeted traffic from local search results?
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