If your business relies on local customers, then you need to be sure to make it easy for them to find you. And a great way to make sure they can do that is to make sure you are listed in the online local business search engine directories.
When someone searches online for local businesses, they typically enter something like "Dentists Ft. Myers, FL". Because location has been included in their search request, this causes the search engines to user geographic location information to decide what to display as the top matches to their request. And, in order for the search engines to find your business for possible matches, you must submit your business information to online business directories.
Get Listed - Google, Yahoo, and MSN all have local business listing directories that you can submit to - for free! Here are links to a few of these major online listing services for you to get started:
- Google Local Business Center: http://www.google.com/local/add
- Yahoo Local: http://edit2.ls.sp2.yahoo.com/csubmit
- MSN/Bing: https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx
- Superpages: http://advertising.superpages.com/spportal/freelisting2.do
Google 10-Pack - Once you are listed in these online directories, you have a chance of getting your Google local profile listed in the "Google 10-pack" for your local business searches. These are local listings that Google places directly on the first page of search results. Here is a sample of what a google 10-pack display looks like:
Tips for Better Ranking - The more complete your online listing information is, the better you will be ranked in Google search results. Here are some tips on what to keep in mind while submitting your listing information:
- Complete all business information
- Include your business hours, website, and forms of payment accepted
- Include a photo of your store or your logo
- Include Customer Reviews
The more places your business is listed on the web, the better your chances are of the search engines ranking your site higher in search results. Search engines like consistency in your information and quantity. The more websites that have backlinks to you and the more business directories that you are listed in, the better your chances are that your business will rank higher the next time someone searches for a business like yours in your local area.
Here’s to Your Online Success!
Betty Walker, the Wise Web Lady