Archive for February 6th, 2009

Local Business Listings

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Search Engine Marketing has changed a lot over the past few years. Successful marketing now involves a lot more than combing some targeted content with link building and hoping for the best. There are many new facets of SEM and one such example is Google’s local business listings.

Getting your site listed in the Local business results is a very straight forward process. Simply log in to your Google account and click on Local Business Center within “My Account”. This will then guide you through the necessary steps asking for a phone number, address and some basic information.

Local business listings can provide your site with a significant volume of targeted traffic and should not be overlooked. However, although submission is very simple, there seems to be some confusion over how to increase your ranking for your local business listing.

One of the major factors that determines where your company ranks is its location. For example, If your business is located several miles from your town, it will likely rank below those companies who are located in the town centre. Although, this would put you at a disadvantage, there are several things you can do to help improve your local business listing.

The algorithm used to determine local business listing rankings includes many of the aspects seen in organic SEO. Relevancy is the key, so make sure that your ad is relevant to the search terms it is found under in every way. Firstly, make sure that your company information includes keywords that you wish to appear under. Similarly, it will help your listing if you include keywords in the ad title. This does not mean that you should remove your company name or sacrifice readability but include a major keyword alongside your company name where suitable.

Make sure to upload an image to be included with your company’s profile. This will make your ad stand out from the crowd when people browse the listings. Anything that draws attention to your company will be advantageous. Videos can also be uploaded, and this feature should be taken advantage of by any company that uses videos on their site.

Reviews can also greatly help your listing. As with all businesses, seeing a review will give your company credibility and will give potential customers peace of mind. In many cases, a good review could make the difference between an inquiry and a sale. There are many was to get review for your listing. You could directly ask customers for reviews, or alternatively, you could link to your business listing through your site, increasing the likelihood that people review your site on their own impulse.

Finally, you can add coupons to your business listing to make your ad more attractive. Typical examples would be a “10% off” coupon or “free gift” coupon. Coupon details will be displayed alongside your business listing in Google Maps, making it more appealing. Coupons can also be a great way of measuring the success of your business when tracking software, such as Google analytics is unsuitable.

Although many people are beginning to realise the benefits of adding their site to Google’s Local Business Centre, few are making the most of their listing. Hopefully, this short guide will help shed a bit more light on the service.