If you’ve done any searching in Google lately (the Godzilla of the internet) you’ve noticed they are placing a much greater value on the local search listings. They’ve integrated Google maps and placed a small map at the top of the page with pins and along the side the businesses are listed in that geographic area. If your business is not taking advantage of these listings you’re missing out on a huge traffic source for suspects, prospects and customers.
One of the services we provide to our marketing clients is to optimize these listings – if you have money to spend and very little time send us and email and we’ll talk J. If you have little money and time to do it yourself I’ll share some of the secrets to getting the most from these listings. I’m not going to tell you everything of course but I’ll get you ahead of 95% of your competition.
- Claim Your Listing – You’ll need a Google account for this (it’s free) and it’s a simple step of finding your listing however far you are down in the ranking and then claiming it as the owner. You’ll then be asked to verify yourself by getting a pin number sent to either your business physical address or phone number.
- Verify of Correct Your Information – Take a few minutes to make sure that your address, phone number, web site and all other pertinent information is correct in your listing. Interestingly enough, I had a client last week that although their location was near the center of the city the Google map showed them being 15 miles out of town along with several of their competitors. In doing some detective work I found that Google actually had their street name spelled wrong in their system and could not place them properly on the map. We couldn’t get Google to correct the street name but were able to force the association to the correct geographic location. They went from 30th place, several pages deep to #1 on page 1 the next day. Local search traffic has been off the hook ever since and two competitors on the same street are still out in the woods. I love it when a plan comes together!
- Get Some Reviews & Ratings – Find a couple of your customers who are internet savvy (and like you) and have them rate your business and write a short review. Except for restaurants I’ve noticed that few other businesses have reviews. I get reviews for my clients and watch their local listing rank increase.
Those three things should keep you busy for a couple days and if you use your imagination you will be able to find a couple other ways to optimize your local listings (think photos, videos, coupons, etc.)
Oh, and if you’re an internet business that doesn’t post an address on your site because you’re trying to market to a worldwide audience? I’d recommend posting an address or buying a separate domain name to market locally – example: atlantawebhosting.com – even if you don’t have a local office you could contact a computer consultant in that city and form a simple joint venture. Then use their physical address, you provide them with local consulting leads and they pass on hosting client leads to you.
If you have any comments or questions about today’s show information be sure to post them on you’ve got five minutes (dot) com. Also, we’re just putting the finishing touches on our free ebook ‘The Five Things Your Business Must Do To Survive in 2010’. Sign up for our email list to get a free copy in the next week or two.