If you are a local business, you need to invest time and effort into “local search.” Local search is making sure your business can be found in local searches on desktops and especially on mobile devices. Businesses serving the local community such as contractors, restaurants, lawyers, physicians and hair salons need to place emphasis on being found locally. The best way I know to do this is through the use of local business directories, which includes listing your business on as many local IYP (Internet Yellow Page) directories. There are a core few Internet yellow pages — Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Local, and several others — that are picked up and syndicated to hundreds of other directories.
You may recognize local search listings when you do a search on Google. These are those three (used to be seven) businesses that show up at the top of Google search results with information such as address, hours, a map with the three locations pinpointed and reviews from your clients.
Make sure your business is listed in Google My Business
The first thing you’ll want to do is register your business with Google My Business (see below for link). When you visit Google My Business, you’ll walk through their online system to determine if your business is listed and if not, how set up your business profile. It’s important to include photos and list your business in the most appropriate categories. It is usually necessary to validate your updated information by phone or by mail. The phone updates usually take place within 24 hours, while a postcard validation takes up to a couple of weeks.
As part of the process, you’ll also create a Google+ page for your business. Once you have, make sure you use the URL that Google gives you to link to your Google+ page from your other web properties such as your website and your Facebook page.
Check Your Business in Internet Yellow Pages (IYP).
Internet Yellow Pages are website such as Bing, Yahoo, Yelp and Super Pages. There are little over fifty (50) authoritative databases that feed hundreds more Internet Yellow Page websites. These directories feed on each other for listing accuracy and information. So keeping an updated profile in these is important. Many applications and search engines use these data sources to provide local information. Accuracy and consistency are also critical because Google and other search engines “compare notes” with these local directories to help validate their database.
Trumpet Marketing provides local search marketing services. We can help your business get listed in all of these directories, as well as social media properties such as Facebook. Give us a call for a no obligation estimate.