It’s something we often forget to do (aside from the occasional Googling of our names…). Check for how our business is appearing online. See how we “Show Up” when the world searches for us.
If your business is locally based, this is especially important.
Search for your business with your exact location (city, state) and locations near you. See how your business listing in the local results shows up… check Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Merchant Circle (or have a service like Yext do that leg-work for you).
See how you show up, make corrections and edit as needed.
What is Google+ Local?
Google+ Local helps users discover and share places. The integration of Zagat’s expressive 30-point scoring system gives you detailed insight into businesses before you visit, and Zagat summaries of user reviews help you decide where you want to go.
With Google+ Local, you can:
Get place recommendations based on your circles, your past reviews, and your location
Publish reviews and photos of your favorite places
Read Zagat summaries of user reviews for a place
View the local Google+ page for a business to see reviews, photos, and other useful information
Find reviews from people you know and trust highlighted in your search results
Ready to use Google+ Local? Just go to plus.google.com/local and start exploring!
Learn more about Google+ via What is Google+ Local? – Google+ Help.
The following is summarized from from Search Engine Journal‘s article: Important SEO Habits to Adopt for Post Panda-Penguin Era Survival
- Think Originality and Relevance
Make your content original and relevant. Provide users with USEFUL information. Avoid techniques meant only for the Search Engines
Use tools like Google Authorship Markup, get your “by line” on your content. Let people know who you are and why they should listen to you.
- Develop Clean Website Structure
Make sure your site can be easily crawled and that your data structure makes sense. Don’t leave the bots to crawl through a spaghetti-mess of pages.
Use all the local tools available to you to make sure that people near you can find you -this is particularly important for brick & mortar businesses. Use Google+Local and Google+Pages, use Bing Local, and use Yext for all the rest.
As you know, in addition to optimizing your site for important keyphrases, the next step in successfully marketing your website are the “off-site” factors, like how many quality sites link to your site.
This post is an update of a post I did back in 2009. Back then, the three major directories to get listed in were Google, Yahoo and Bing. Since then, many more local business directories have come into being. It’s more important than ever to get your business listed in these directories because if it’s not, the chances of your site getting found when people search for what you offer plus a location.
So, step one; start with the “Big 3”
Next step; add or update your business on other business directories like:
Once you have your business listed, make the most of your listing by:
- Adding a well written business description (include your KEYWORDS)
- Adding photos and video
- Adding details about your business; services provided, hours, payments accepted, etc.
- Encourage Happy Customers to review your business online
- and on the “flip side” check your listings periodically (or setup some Google Alerts) so that you can respond quickly to any negative PR