Local business listings in top search engines are among the major search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that are often neglected by many less knowledgeable business owners. Every progressive business owner yearns to get his/her site to rank on the first search results page of every major search engine, whenever an Internet users searches for local businesses in his/her niche. The almighty question is: how do you properly optimize your web pages to rank at the top of local SERPs, since several thousands of other businesses in your area are jockeying for that same position? Will you allow your local competitors to outsmart you?
The steps to optimize your local business:
One of the best ways to get your website visible to your target audience in your locale is to get it placed in major search engines’ business listings. Your first step will be to freely submit your site to Google Places, http:// places.google.com/business /, as it helps numerous competitors of yours. Google Places helps to get businesses found on both Google local search results and Google Maps. Several millions of Internet users search Google local listings and Google Maps each day for products and services that interest them. But you’ll need to create a Google Account, if you don’t have any. Putting your site in both places entails that you sign in to your account, on the right side there’s a button entitled “List your business”.
Click on it and it will take you to another web page where you will be prompted to select your country and enter your business phone number.
After entering the required information, clicking on the button below takes you to yet another page, where you will enter full details about your business, even optionally submitting a video about your business and photo. When you’re satisfied all the information is correct, submit the form, and await your business verification via phone or email. Your business will start showing up in Google local search results and Google Maps in a few days after the verification.
It’s also important to list your business website in Yahoo Local, http://local.yahoo.com/. Yahoo Local is a form of directory that includes reviews, ratings, events and maps. Getting a business listed there doesn’t require much protocol like Google Places. That means your submission doesn’t need the rigmarole of verification, though you have to use a Yahoo account to submit your business site. Exposure of your business on Yahoo Local will hopefully translate to driving more visitors to your site, if you perform other necessary SEO tasks well.
Since Bing now powers Yahoo search results, it makes a lot of sense to get your business visible on Bing Local Business search results. Just visit Bing Local Listing Center, https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx, and submit your business. Note that Bing Local Business Listings require a form of verification process.