Local Search Directories are an integral piece of your marketing efforts. While local search is at least 20 percent of total queries on the PC , it’s at least 40 percent of smart phone queries, according to Google. Think about it. You are driving around when suddenly your family is hungry. They want Italian food. You put it in your search engine on the phone and, Voila!, you are off to Tito’s Italian Restaurant with directions to the location already on your phone’s GPS.
Local listings are important for a variety of reasons. Let’s look at a few:
SEO – The more search engines can find you, the better your rankings become. When you are listed online you have a web reference to your site, and the more references the better. Be careful to be consistent with the company name, address and general information across all the listings you file. In addition, it is important to create a well-crafted description that has relevant keywords that can be picked up by search engines.
New User Experiences – People are not using the Yellow Pages like they did 20 years ago. When was the last time you actually flipped through an actual Yellow Page book? Probably a while. Today, people have information at their fingertips. They are using mobile devices at an unprecedented level, which means that your business has to be online to be found. In addition, 30% of searches are more likely to buy locally. Your potential clients are online and local. You need to be as well.
Customer Reviews Help Your Image and Brand – When people come to your place of business and are satisfied, they often post reviews and comments about their experience. While we are not yet sure if this has any relevant weight on your SEO, it does create feedback that other potential clients can read before making their final decisions. If the feedback is positive, your company will have a leg up to another with less stellar reviews. When positive reviews are left on these websites, they are captured by a number of other local search engines (Citysearch is an example). These “seeding” sites allow for greater visibility of your business. Beware. If the review is good, you will get better results. If it is bad, it can create a negative feeling about your company as well. Always follow through on any negative feedback to improve client experience.
In our next post, Maverick wants to give you a list of the top UBL (Universal Business Listing), Local Listings and local niche listings to help you get started.