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12 Sep 2013

Local Business Listings– They Matter!

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SEO, PPC, SEM and SMO were all acronyms that I had not heard of until a few weeks ago when I started working here at Local-One Internet Marketing .   I recently made the jump from the world of retail sales into this crazy world of Search Engine Marketing .  Having just worked for a small business owner, I saw first-hand how time consuming it is trying to stay ahead of the curve with your own product let alone trying to learn all the latest Internet marketing strategies. Trying to understand the ever-changing trends and varying rules and regulations was a nightmare for the business owner and employees at the retail store I worked in. In the short time that I have been here at Local-One, I have learned so many simple things that could have significantly helped the small retail store I worked at.  Small changes in your internet marketing strategy can go a long way to generate more business.

The small retail store that I worked in was kept in business for over 30 years mainly because of word of mouth.  Over the past few years we began to see a gradual change in how people heard about our business.  It went from “I overheard at a dinner party” to “I read it on Facebook”.  Furthermore our customers admitted that if they did hear about us from a friend, they had still looked us up online, looked through our website, and knew what they were looking for before they decided to walk in and shop.  So the fact that we were not updating our website with all our newest lines and designs, and making sure our information was consistent on all the different search engines was most definitely costing us business. When people were searching on their mobile devices or computers for us, our listing was not coming up on page 1 of the search engine results.

As more and more people are using the internet to find the products they want, it is so important to have a local listing that is accurate.  I know that personally when I am looking to buy a product, grab something to eat, the closest spa with the best massage, I just grab my iPhone (shout out to Apple) or I jump on the computer.  When I want good sushi near my house in South Jordan, I get online and search “good sushi in South Jordan, UT” and then I look at the top results, read the reviews and then make my decision.

The one thing that I didn’t realize before I started working here is how exactly and why exactly the places I see on page 1 of the search results are determined.   How businesses get to page 1 of search engine results is not by chance and staying on top is not random chance.  There is a formula that goes into how these listings come up.  A Google science, if you will.  Here are a few simple steps to help you with your Google Places local listing:

Make sure your listing is complete and accurate.

Make sure your business location is entered correctly on the map so users can find you easily. You can drag the map marker to your exact business location.  List your authoritative and official business website on your Places listing, since Google uses information from your website to help improve search results.  Include images and videos to help your listing stand out.  Add information such as opening hours and payment types to help users choose among search results.  Of course, be sure that your business name, physical address, and phone number(s) are correct.

Choose the most appropriate, specific categories for your business.

Pick a category from the list of suggestions to help Google to show your business for the right searches (although you can always enter your own category if Google Places doesn’t suggest one that fits your business).  Don’t be afraid to choose specific categories instead of broad ones. The important thing is that the categories are accurate and describe your business well. Google’s search algorithm makes sure that users looking for “Book Stores” will see businesses in more specific categories like “Used Book Stores,” “Comic Book Stores,” and “Rare Book Stores” too.

Establish a strong, accurate presence on the web.

Google improves search results by aggregating information about your business from all over the web. Make sure information about your business on third-party sites is accurate, and try to contact the respective site directly to correct any inaccurate information.  Encourage customers to leave online reviews for your business.

If you have questions about your local listing or would like to discuss any of the marketing services we offer in greater detail, please feel free to call our SEO Company in Salt Lake City and make sure you ask for the “new girl”.  I’m standing by to help!

Whittney Chilcote

Account Manager

Local-One Internet Marketing

(800) 282-2434

Whittney@Local-One.com

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