As it is so closely pointed out by Google "Local customers already search Google for the products and services you offer", so I often wonder why more small business owners do not leak the revenue generating power of these listings. Have you created your business listing so that your customers and more importantly prospective customers are sure to be able to find you?
If you do not take a few moments to read on to find out just how much business you may be missing out on.
First of all let's define Google Local Business Listings and how they are different from your typical organic search listings. Google Local Business Listings are different than organic or pay-per-click listings and typically only show up when the user types a service oriented business followed by the city for their search. At this point a Google Maps appears alongside up to ten URLs with a phone number by each.
For those that need more than ten listings you have the option to click the "More Results" option and you'll be taken to a map with alphabetically reded pegs for each register business on Google Maps. There is no secret that being listed on Google Maps and / or Google's Local Business Listings is becoming even more important since they are being displayed more often in searches with up to ten listings even before the organic listings start.
There are a number of very simple steps that can be taken by the small business owner and entrepreneur to get additional traffic to their website and new prospects buying products:
Be sure to get free listings in as many local directory websites as possible. I very rarely recommend setting up reciprocating links as they often provide little to no value or paying for links in directories. However, if there are local directories that are offering nonreciprocal link options that are free you should definitely take advantage of the listing.
Always include your phone number whenever you write a description of your company on a third party website. Research suggests that Google may use your phone number to improve your local business listing rankings, similar to the way they use links for improving your traditional organic search engine rankings. For those of you using WordPress for your website updates like this are very easy.
Make sure your local business listing is complete. For instance, include pictures, videos, coupons, a full descriptionense with keywords, be sure to select the appropriate categories for your business, etc, etc.
Use keywords in your local business listing description and make it as long as Google allows.
If you have local competitors that are ranking well with the Google Local Business listings take the time to look at their local business listings.
A very important and often overlooked piece to the overall puzzle is having customer reviews associated with your Google Local Business listing. So, how do you go about getting customer reviews? Simply add a link from your homepage to the listing and encourage current customers or website visitors to review your company. You can not have too many customer reviews!
As for your website, be sure to include your business name in your title tags, description and through your website. With WordPress you can accomplish this very easily in a number of ways depending on your installation and plugins available to you.
Additionally, you will want to ensure the following items are covered by on your website:
* Include your address and phone number on every page of your website. Often the bottom of every page is a great location to do so.
* Include your city and state in your website's content, titles, descriptions and / or page headers.
* Do some searches on Google to find out which phrases local business listings show up for, and optimize your site for those phrases.
When mastered, local business search engine optimization has the potential to be very lucrative, generating large amounts of targeted traffic, within a short amount of time.