The goal of your business’s marketing efforts is to sell your products and services; the first step in making this happen is to help potential customers discover your business. If your target market is local to your physical office or storefront, local search marketing is a must. Various websites have local business listings, which consumers use to discover providers in their area; by taking advantage of these resources, you can put your business in front of your target audience, providing them with all the information they need to contact you.
Local Business Listings: Claim Your Listing
If you do a quick Google search of your business, it will turn up quite a few listings. Most of these are comprised of public information such as your phone number and physical address. These listings are often incomplete and may even be inaccurate. According to Google, verifying your listing allows you to make sure the details about your business are correct, and can improve your business’s online visibility, helping potential customers find you via search.
To ensure your potential customers are finding up-to-date information about your business, you need to claim your listings and take control of the information. There are numerous sites with business listings, and tackling them all isn’t practical. Your best bet is to claim listings with the top sites that consumers use. This way, you’re using your resources where it’ll provide the best return. Make it a priority to claim your business listings on high-traffic sites such as:
- Google My Business
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Local
- CityGuide by AOL
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Pages
Claiming your listing on most sites is free, but there may also be premium options which you can pay for. At the very least, take advantage of the free options available to your business to ensure your listing is accurate.
Local Listings: Maintenance and Updates
Once you claim your local listing, and verify ownership if necessary, it’s time to get to work updating your business information. Make sure the information within the listing is accurate and complete; give your audience everything they need to find you. Include information such as:
- Physical address, with map and directions if available
- Business hours
- Phone numbers (use a local number, not an 800 number)
- Website address
Use your local listing to help potential customers get a feel for the products and services you offer. Upload pictures of your office or store and the products you sell, your team, and more. Include testimonials from customers that speak to the quality of your products, services, and the level of customer service you provide.
Make the most of your local listings by performing routine maintenance. On a regular basis, update your listings with information regarding current promotions and specials, notices regarding seasonal or holiday hours, and notable business news.
Local Listings: Routing to Targeted Local Pages
If your business has multiple locations, you should have a listing and a landing page specific to each area. With individual pages for each city your business is in, or each city within your service area, consumers searching for providers near to them can find you easily through local search. Route each local listing to the specific local landing page on your website rather than your home page; this will show potential customers that you actually have a presence in their community. Optimize the content on each page and listing for the targeted area; use local phone numbers, photos of projects or your storefront in the specific city, and even include details about the city or its landmarks within your content.