Smart Brick-and-Mortar Businesses Don’t Ignore Local Search
Local listings now display in every major search engine. In Google, they are usually posted under the initial Paid listings, but before organic results. Local listings often include a map next to the results –that’s how you know these listings are local listings instead of the regular organic listings.
If possible, Google displays the top-7 results for local listings. It was known as the “10-Pack” but has now been truncated to “7-Pack”. Keep in mind, Google has 60-70% of the search market, so make sure to submit your local business to Google first. Yahoo and Bing/MSN also show similar results.
Every local business should submit their information to all three major search engines. In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when running a local business. Why? Because your local business listing at the search engines will send you traffic! It’s less competitive than organic listings and it’s priced better than paid – because it’s free!
It’s possible you are already showing up in local listings at Google, Yahoo, and MSN. However, it’s probable that your competition is ranking higher if they’ve been more diligent with their local listings.
How to Fix: Neglecting “Local” on the Search Engines
It’s easy to submit your listings to the three major search engines. I’ve provided the current links to submit your business. Once again, it’s free and only takes a few minutes for each business. You will have to confirm your listing with each search engine by postcard. Google now provides a phone verification option.
One word of caution: make sure all of your information is consistent across all major search engines. If search engines find different information, your listing becomes devalued. Not a good thing if you want free rankings and traffic.
1) Google Local Business Center (LBC)
This is most important listing to submit. You can include pictures, coupons, even videos with Google’s listing. Remember to include as much information as possible to distinguish you from your competitors. You will also need a free Google Account to signup for Google’s LBC.
2) Yahoo Local Listings
There are three options for Yahoo Listings: Featured ($25/mo), Enhanced ($9.95/mo), and Free.You may not need the paid options, but a paid listing could bring more qualified traffic. You’ll need a free YahooID/Account to signup.
3) Bing/MSN Local Listings
MSN’s listing is also free, but you’ll need an MSN ID to signup.