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Local Search Marketing. Four Steps to an Improved Ranking

May 5, 2011

There are 10 billion unique online searches conducted each month in the US, and about 40% of these searches are for local services, businesses, and products. For small and medium size businesses that want to be visible in today’s highly competitive online marketing world, Local Search Marketing is crucial. The days of using the dusty old telephone book to find local businesses are over. Today, most costumers actively search for your services on the web, mobile devices, enhanced 411 services or other high tech devices. Most people like to narrow down their searches to their cities or neighborhoods because of the rising need among visitors to know who they are dealing with, or they may want to personally visit your location. Local Search Marketing will build brand awareness, leverage trust for local visitors, and most importantly increase ROI. Hiring a good SEO service provider can maximize your return on investment for pennies on the dollar. If you are a do it yourself person, then following the steps below will help you along the way.

Step One: Get listed, claim your listing, and update your business information on top local data providers and top local search engines for free:

  • Local Data Providers: Amacai (or Localeze), InfoUSA, and Acxiom.
  • Local Search Site: Google Maps, Yahoo Local, MSN Live Search, and Ask City.
  • Top internet Yellow Pages Sites: YellowPages.com, SuperPages.com, and DexOnline.com.

Step Two: Submit and optimize your website to Goggles Places page (formerly known as Google Local Business Center). Make sure to include the following:

  • Basic business information
  • Email, description, and website
  • Service areas
  • Business category selection
  • Hours of operation and payment options
  • Images and videos
  • Any other details of your Business
  • Last but not least, review for accuracy, and then submit to save the changes.

Step Three: In order to “get found” on major search engines and to increase your ranking, start building citations (or links) to your listing. Most citations will contain the following: your DBA name, business phone number, business website URL and business categorization. Any additional sources that will allow more rich information about your business such as customer reviews will also help your ranking.

Step Four: Select the correct service provider: your website should be hosted in the country where most of your customers live. For instance, if your business is based in the US and your domain is hosted in the UK, the chance of your site ranking well in the UK is higher since search engines will interpret your website to be a UK website!

As a smart business owner, make Local Search Marketing a major part of your website marketing campaign in order to increase lead generation, sales and ROI.

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