If you’ve just started to promote your business and website, one of the first things you’ll want to do in terms of marketing, is to get your business listed on the major local listings sites. Not only do these sites have millions upon millions of visitors each and every day, but search is becoming more and more localized and personalized. That means that if someone searches for a service or product on a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo, that these search engines are now serving up localized results. So, if you have a tree pruning service in San Diego, and someone from San Diego searches on Google for “tree pruning service”, then more than likely they will serve up results from business listings on Google Places. Same goes for the other search engines, they all have localized search features now. There’s also other sites which are important to be listed on as well, and these have many millions of visitors a day as well. So, here’s the top sites you absolutely, positively need to be listed on if you are a local or online business:
- Google Places (also called Google Maps or Google Local) – On the Google Local homepage, click on the “Put your business on Google Maps” link. From there they will ask you to log in to your Google account, if you aren’t already. Then you can add your business, its free. Google Places allows you to add all your contact information, a link to your website, description, hours, service area and photos.
- Bing Places – Listing on Bing Places is free. Bing allows you to add lots of information about your company, including a description, brands you carry, even images and videos, as well as all the standard details.
- Yahoo Local – A basic listing is free, though they have some paid options which get you extra features. This listing includes a link to your site, information about your company and services, a company tagline and contact information.
- Facebook – While not technically a local business directory, they offer Facebook fan pages which can be valuable for just about any type of business. To create your business page, click on the “Create a Page” link found at the bottom of all Facebook pages. You’ll be able to add your company information and choose a category. Once your page is created, you can add a nice cover photo, profile picture and, of course, start adding some content. Post news about your company, helpful videos or pictures, tips and valuable information, as well as information on sales or offers.
- Yelp – Yelp is quite popular, especially if you have a service or are in the food business. Listing is free, but they only let you add your contact information and a little information about your business, not much else. Still, this is an important site to be listed on.
Getting your listing on all these sites won’t even take an hour, and it should gain you real, local customers.
Tips for Optimizing Your Listing
On these sites, it may not be enough to be listed in order to get traffic. You need to incorporate some keyword phrases into your listing that make sense. So, if you have a salon in Las Vegas, then make sure to add “Las Vegas salon” to your description. Work a couple of phrases that make sense into your description with natural wording. Also, some of these sites allow you to add keywords to your listing. Make sure to do this as well. Also, be sure to take advantage of any extras they provide, like adding photos of your products or place of business and adding videos.
Here’s a great tip for really optimizing your listing and conversions on these sites —
Google, Yahoo and Bing all consider the number of reviews and the overall rating of your company on these sites to determine where you rank on the localized results. Encourage your customers and clients to leave a review of your company on these sites. If you have your customer’s email address, you can email them after they have visited you and send them a link to rate your company on these sites. Make it easy for them to rate and review you!
Don’t wait to get listed on these sites, do it now!
Lydia is the founder of BizFancy. She is dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs, and anyone else who wants to make a living online or simply wants to make some extra cash online. Lydia has made a full-time living online since 1998 when she started her first online business.