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