Posts Tagged ‘Local Search and Marketing’

Local Series: Getting Your Business Listing Setup in Search Engines (Part 2)

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

If you missed Part 1 of Getting Your Business Listing Setup in Search Engines start there first.

The verification process can sometimes be the most challenging part of setting up your local business listing in search engines. The process can be easy and at the same time difficult for numerous reasons. Below we share with you the various ways to verify your account and what we have often experienced when setting up listings on behalf of our clients during the verification process.

GOOGLE (aka Google Places, this listing will also show up in Google Maps)
www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter

Creating a listing: We recommend you use a general email account with your company domain name. For example, marketing@companyname.com. You do not need a gmail account to setup your listing on Google Places. Google prefers you use an email address with the company domain in it as further verification and legitimacy of your listing.

Easy way: phone call. Google will typically place a call within minutes that will give you a PIN number. The PIN number will need to be entered during setup, this is the key step to get your listing verified. We have experienced both never receiving a call and a PIN number left on voicemail. The good news is Google will let you request a PIN again. If this does not work you will ultimately be left without the call option and going the route of the slow way – postcard verification.

Slow way: postcard. You’ll need to keep an eye out for the postcard, it will be small and look like junk mail so be paranoid. This postcard will contain your PIN number. It can take up to 2 weeks to receive the postcard so make sure you have kept your login information handy and in a safe place.


View a 45-minute video on How-To set up your business on Google.

BING (aka Bing Business Listing Center)
https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx

Easy way: phone call. This process is exactly like Google’s except that Bing provides you with the PIN number and you enter it over the phone when they call you (versus receiving the PIN over the phone and entering it online).

Slow way: a letter or postcard will be sent. It takes almost two weeks to receive the letter. It is typically dated just a couple days after you’ve submitted your local listing.

YAHOO! (aka Yahoo! Local Listings)
http://listings.local.yahoo.com/

Yahoo! sends an email confirmation as verification of your listing. Keep in mind this email will be sent to the person who is listed as the contact in the contact information you filled in, which should also be a general email address for your company.*

*Keep in mind that Yahoo! is no longer a search engine. Currently they are still maintaining their local listings and offer a basic and an enhanced listing (you pay for it).

Local Series: Getting Your Business Listing Setup in Search Engines (Part 1)

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

With attention surrounding geo-location services (like Foursquare, Gowalla, Groupon) and significant enhancements in local business listings in search engines (Google Places, bing). We wanted to focus on creating a “Local” blog post series featuring helpful ways for businesses to garner further visibility online utilizing these offerings as well as what to be aware of when participating. We’ll focus on local business listings and a few free marketing ideas for you to take advantage of. So, let’s begin.

Setting Up Your Local Business Listing on Search Engines
When doing local search it’s best to start with the big three. While Yahoo!’s search results have now been replaced with bing’s search engine results, many things are still in tact – this includes business listings for local search. For the most part all three search engines (SE) ask for the same information for a business.

We’ve compiled a quick list to help you prepare for setting up a local search account for your organization:

Basic Information:
– Business name
– Address
– Telephone number (some SE’s allow multiple phone numbers)
– Toll free number (if applies)
– Web site (some SE’s allow multiple websites)
– Email (some SE’s allow multiple emails)
– Fax

Background Information
There are a good amount of sections that can be filled out; you want to fill in as much information as you can. Google recently made some big enhancement to how local search results from Google Places appears in their search results and it is highly recommended to fill in as much information as possible to help your results. Make sure to put in everything you can think of that represents your company.

This includes:
– Description (Google limit is 200 characters)
– Image (logo or any images, great way to incorporate Flickr if client has images there)
– Video (great way to incorporate YouTube if client has videos there)
– Hours (if apply)
– Payment methods (if apply)
– Brands carried or sold by client. Great way to insert keywords that are specific to your client’s products and or services.
– Specialties. Great way to insert keywords that are specific to your client’s products and or services.
– Slogan or tagline.
– Other requests are for professional associations, languages spoken, parking, and more.

Category Details
There are categories to select that best represent your business. You want to ensure that you select the best choice categories as these may help with your visibility within organic search results. Some of the categories can be hidden and you may have to browse to find what is most appropriate to make sure you aren’t missing any. Some SE’s allow more category entries than others. Try to fill in as many categories as you can, this too will be affected by Google Places search results.

At this point you will want to review all of the choices you have made and all of the information you have entered. Make sure to double and triple check everything as editing in the future may not be as easy as you think. Once you have thoroughly checked all of your information and are happy with your location search entry, proceed to the verification process.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on the details of the verification process and detailed requirements.

Local Search Business Listings: MSNLive vs Google

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Okay, so I felt this post was very necessary and hopefully I am not the first to write about this.  Recently, I was adding Liberty Interactive Marketing to the local business listings on all the major search engines.  The process for adding your listing to Google is fairly simple.  Although I did make a small user error while inputting my listing due to ambiguity in their process by accidentally associating my company with another local company here in Phoenix I was able to complete the submission successfully. Then, verified my listing quickly with an automated phone call from Google (one type of verification process they offer).

I did the same on MSNLive Local, however, I got a little irritated when they said they would send me a letter to verify my business listing.  My irritation was more due to the lack of immediacy that I had experienced on Google.

BUT…Logic prevailed.

ROUND 1 TO MSN: The appropriate way is MSN’s way as they are verifying the location by actually sending a piece of mail to this address in which I gratefully appreciate.

ROUND 2 TO MSN: If Google had done this, I would not still be trying to remedy my mistake upon submission with them as the company I mistakenly associated myself with would not have verified my location.  Which by the way, I am receiving terrific organic traffic from, not to mention resumes and my company is completely unrelated. Missed the goal on relevant results for this one Google.

ROUND 3 TO MSN: Google’s inappropriate business listing submission seriously lacks security. Who is to say that one couldn’t just create a local business listing using one of their competitors names and simply create another listing that directed them to their phone number? Since all that Google verifies is the phone number. A simple mistake if phone calls ever came in or is it? A savvy and slightly devious business development professional could easily turn these mistaken phone calls into a leads, thus creating a new lead generation tool for themselves.

And while I realize that this same savvy and devious business professional could also have MSN Local letters sent to their own address, there is a bit more work involved than just merely a 5 second verification phone call from Google.

Am I missing something? I welcome all comments on this topic.

The Local Search Revolution?

Friday, June 20th, 2008

The tipping point of local search has been rumored to be around for a while, but with the advent of the google 10-pack, some say it might be right around the corner. Soon, the world wide web may be come a lot more regionalized.

David Mihm, a local search specialist, took a look at what has become important with local search along with twenty other SEO specialists. You can see his results here: Local Search Ranking Factors