And so the landscape of shopping has changed in the last few years. Gone were the days when people would go out on a spending spree and come home disappointed because the item they bought wasn’t what they expected. Although there will always be an option to get your money refunded, there’s always the unaccounted cost of going to the place where you bought the item and returning it. Nowadays, before buying an item, most shoppers would either ask their friends for recommendation, or go online and check out reviews. With search engines like Google showing results for both local and national, it’s important for a business to have reviews on their local listings. Such local listing sites include Yellow Pages, Google Places, Bing local. If you don’t have an account on any of the local listing sites, we suggest you create one immediately. But before you do so, heed our suggestions below in improving your chances of ranking for your area.
- It goes without saying that you need to claim your profile. The local listing sites provide easy steps to claiming and verifying your listings.
- Upload Photos of your business – whether it’s the location of your business, or your business in action or perhaps the happy customers you’ve served.
- Ensure your contact details are correct – believe me, numerous clients have been dumbfounded by a lack of business despite stellar listings only to find their contact details were incorrect
- Make sure your physical address can be found on ALL pages of your website. While it’s helpful for your customers, ultimately you’re sending a consistent message to the search engines.
- Keywords – search for the keywords ideal for your business and make sure to optimize your listings for these keywords. From photos, titles, categories and keywords, it will be much easier to find you if your listing is keyword optimized.
- Ask for reviews – although these local seo sites don’t support bloated reviews on your listings, there are other ways to ask for reviews from your satisfied customers. On your contact page, on the receipt you issue, on email communications – why not indicate a note that says “Thank you for your continued patronage, we’d appreciate it if you could give us a review on Google Local”. Now, this doesn’t mean only good reviews. Encourage your customers to post an honest appraisal of your business – good or bad. Bad reviews are a part of business from which you can learn.
- Do you have multiple locations? It’s best to have multiple landing pages on your site that links to each separate local listing. The landing page should contain all information pertaining to the location and what it can offer your customers.
Local SEO listings can be an avenue to both increase the number of your customers and help your link building campaign along with best practices such as press releases, video distribution and others. With the constant algorithm updates of Google, it pays to be on the safe side and optimize on all fronts.
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