This a guest post by MJ Stern of BeLocalBeListed.com
Do you remember searching for a product or service in your local area by picking up the Yellow Page book, thumbing through pages to look for the business offering you what you need, not to mention getting ink all over your fingers? Searching for a product or service locally is changing.
Today, many people still prefer to do business locally and are searching online or on their mobile device. In fact, with over 71+ billion searches 25-30 percent of the searches are local searches, and that number increases daily. That’s why it’s important for your business to maintain a local presence.
If you want more local presence you should take advantage of the FREE listing services offered by Google Places, Yahoo! Local, or Bing Business Portal and make sure your business is claimed, optimized and listed correctly. Think of these free services as micro-websites for your business.
If claimed correctly your business could land on Page 1 of Google, Yahoo! or Bing and help you:
- Attract more local customers
- Increase your online visibility
- Promote your product or service
- Get listed on maps
Even if you don’t have a website, you can still list your business on these sites.
To achieve a good listing you should also consider having various citations. A citation is a listing for your business on another site with your name and address. There are numerous directories where you can list your business and many are free. The idea is to get your business mentioned in as many places as you can.
Here are 3 things you can do to leverage your local listing and get more visibility:
- Before you begin, develop your business description using your keywords.
- Completeness is important. Make sure you have filled out all of the information about your business on each site. Missing information tends to demote your business listing. As an example, if they ask for business hours, make sure you list them.
- When you add your business to other sites or directories use exactly the same name. For instance, if your business is called “ABC Together LLC” and you have listed it that way on one site, make sure you list it that way in all sites and directories and not “ABC Together.”
These sites have so much to offer the local business community, yet many businesses have not claimed their Google Place, updated Yahoo! Local, or completed their Bing Business Portal listing. In many instances, the information presented is out-of-date. If your business has moved, the map location could be incorrect too!
As a business owner who provides services or products to the local consumer, do you want to gain more visibility online?
If so, you should be listed and optimized correctly on Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Business Portal.
MJ Stern and Janice Mitchell are the Founders of BeLocalBeListed.com helping you claim and optimize your place and listing so you can Be Local – GET LISTED – Be Found©.