All business owners know that just having a website today is not enough. Search engine optimization is necessary to get sites to the top of Google and keep them there, and social media is necessary to connect with current and future customers. Unless all aspects of online marketing are elegantly integrated, ranging from the design to search engine optimization on-site and off-site, business websites will not bring in a fraction of the desired exposure and lead generation. This is obvious to most business owners.
However, what not all businesses are aware of yet is that local listings are also really important to a well-rounded online marketing campaign without being listed on local listings, businesses stand a smaller chance of being found by potential and interested customers. In fact, 20% of all searches have been confirmed by Google to have local intent. Not being locally listed means you’re automatically losing 2 out of 10 potential customers. Potential customers that your competitors may be acquiring by simply being locally listed.
What Are Local Listings?
When Google users search for a term like “Auto mechanics in DC,” they will see the nearest auto mechanics in relationship to DC on a map. These local results are completely different from the search results that list different websites.
Since Google wants to insure that their search results are relevant, local inquiries will be served with local listings at the top to be helpful for their users. Just like when someone Googles a mountain range on Google and sees images at the top, someone that Googles a local topic will see a map and listings at the top of their search results.
In Google, local listings are called Google Local Listings. With Bing, local listings are called Bing Places and with Yahoo they’re called Yahoo Business Listings.
Local listings in search engine show the business’s location, name, and phone number. Potential customers can also use listing information to look at reviews, operating hours, and useful information.
The great thing about local listings is that they’re all free to be added to. The not so great thing is that in many large cities, and recently starting in smaller cities, businesses are becoming aware of the importance of local listings. This means that a lot of businesses are adding themselves to the registry, and hundreds of businesses offering the same services are competing for the highest ranking in local listings.
To insure the highest ranking on local listings, a sort of local listing optimization has to be completed. This process ranges from optimizing keyword usage, location parameters, and many other factors. In combination with local SEO, businesses can reach a large audience that is interested in their products or services. Whether it’s through showing up at the top of map listings or through showing up at the top of local keywords, we help businesses dominate their desired keywords and keep it up for years to come.
Quickest Way to See Where you Stand in Google
It might be surprising, but some businesses don’t Google themselves. If you haven’t done this recently or at all, then you should do it right away. See if you’re showing up in the search results for local keywords and terms as well as for the local listing and map.