Help local customers find you online
Since most customers rely more on search engines than telephone books to find what they’re looking for these days, it’s important for them to be able to find you. It’s estimated that 40% of the 10 billion unique searches in the U.S. each month are for local services, businesses and products.
Whether you do this yourself, or hire a web copywriting specialist to improve your search engine results, when you establish your local online listings you’ll soon see an influx of local customers online and in the flesh.
Dev Basu, an expert in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), gave some simple tips in Web Marketing Today recently. (http://www.wilsonweb.com/local/basu-claim-local-listings.htm)
First, there are three main business centers where you’ll want to register a business listing: Google Local Business Center, Bing and Yahoo. Sign up as a user at each one, and complete a profile.
Second, it’s important to maintain a consistent format at all three for the name, address and phone. Complete the profile as comprehensively as possible, filling in all fields, including a keyword-rich business description. Use a local phone number rather than a toll-free number for additional local search engine ranking power. Upload or link to as many business images and videos as possible.
Finally, when you’re ready to verify your information, you’ll be contacted either by phone with a secret PIN to identify you, or with a postcard mailed to the business location.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have the basics covered for local business listing. With a little research (and a future article here), you can go further and really optimize those listings.