Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Local search and Map

Submitting to the map sites.

There is more to localizing a site than just putting location keywords into your pages. You need to make sure that you are properly represented in the local search indexes. Local search results actually come from a totally different index. So even if your web site is in the organic index, you still need to be in the local index. All three major search engines have local indexes. There is Google Maps of course, Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local. 

Local Search | Local Search Maps
Local Search | Local Search Maps

These local listings are incredibly important. Within many searches, the local listings dominate the search results. Here is what you need to do. First, go to Google, Bing and Yahoo and search. See if your business is already listed.

If you can't find your listing then you'll have to create one. You should create a listing for each location. If you have five locations, make sure you have five listings. When you create or modify your listing, we recommend that you add as much information as possible. That way the search engines will be able to associate the web site with the business of the specific location. Make sure the address you use matches your listings exactly. Add as many pictures as possible, images of your location and staff. If you have video add that. Add as much text information as possible and of course the important keywords. You'll have to verify your business listing using either phone or postcard verification.

You might also try to get a few of your customers to post glowing reviews about your business. Reviews alone are not enough to get you to rank highly in local search results but they certainly can't hurt. One critical factor in how well you rank is geographic location. If you serve a city area but your geographic location is on the outskirts of the city you're at a disadvantage. Depending on the size of the city and the competition you may find yourself completely blocked out of the local listings for that city. Some businesses have decided this is such a big problem that they found locations closer to the center of the areas they serve.

How else can you get your listing to rank well in the local results? Creating links and web citations to your web site is important as the search engines use that to rank not only your site in the organic listings but also your business entry in the local listings.

Many businesses focus on their web sites and ignore their local listings, but that's a huge mistake that could cost you dearly.

Steve Steinberger

No comments:

Post a Comment