Local Business Search For Small Businesses
Whether or not you have a brick and mortar store, it is vital to have your web site ranked well in search engines like Google for your local area.
Today, people aren't just searching for the lowest priced electronic 'widgets' anymore, they are searching for "electronic widgets" AND "my town" trying to narrow their searches into their own neighborhood. Why is this? Cost of gas!
People are looking for the lowest price available. People want to know whom they are dealing with both online and in person. They want to be able to visit your business location for your offerings just to touch and feel it (or at least have the peace of mind that they could if they wanted to).
Even in the face of a global economy more and more people are realizing the importance of community and want to give their business to their local merchants.
For example, if you own a automotive repair business, potential customers want to get your prices; they want directions to your store front, a map to get to your store and a phone number that is answered quickly by a human.
Most online shoppers will choose the web search over the yellow pages in greater frequency in coming years. With this in mind, our local search program offers a great opportunity for small businesses to reach out to more customers in their geographical area by using the search engines' local search features. And with the slowing economy and more aggressive competition, those who do take advantage of this opportunity will have the best chance to attract these customers in the end.
Do you know that most local searchers are often ready to buy but are looking for the best price?
And do you know that local search marketing could grow almost 400% by 2014.
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are being used every day to locate local businesses and compare products, pricing and services. In fact, more than 1.3 billion searches were performed in December 2011 in the US and 82% of these were reported by the search engines to be "local searches". How many of these did you get?
Want another number? According to Borrell Associates, local search advertising in the U.S. was predicted to grow more than 80% between 2009 and 2010? It did!
In 2011 and 2012 it was up to 30% of ALL traffic for our clients alone!
But your company's website alone might not be enough to get you noticed online or considered by your potential customers. That's where Catanich Internet Marketing can help. We have years of experience using the new technology that gives your potential customers the opportunity to learn about your business online via Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Our simple 4-step process is designed to put your business in front of customers by distributing information to the local search engine platforms. Plus, we offer online advertising (Google Adwords) that will gives you even more online attention.
- Captures your business information in one place
- Distributes your company or storefront information to local search engine platforms
- Drives relevant leads to your site through a sponsored links campaign
- Provides detailed, transparent reporting of your results
The purpose of this process is to introduce small business owners to the different Local Search concepts, products and marketing opportunities offered by each of three main search engines.
Here are some additional ideas to think about when adding your site to directories on the web.
Community: Yahoo definitely excels when it comes to including community in local search. They are combining their Yahoo 360 social networks with local listings. The results are most helpful for people who wish to find information relating the their own area.
When you select a listing for a restaurant, for example, you will see all of the consumer-generated recommendations. If a recommender is in your group of contacts, a star is placed next to their recommendation. You know not only other consumers' opinions, you know when those opinions are from people you know.
Mobile: Do not neglect the mobile search market. With the advent of systems like Verizon’s new technology and the Blackberry, people search for the nearest theater using their handheld device. Then they will search for that great martini bar that is nearby and open after the show.
Press Releases: Is your business doing something new and exciting online or offline? Are you you’re promoting it? Take advantage of free press releases from services.
Local City Searches: CitySearch is a major provider of local information for sites including MSN, Ask.com, Expedia.com, Ticketmaster.com, and many others.
Contact information on your site: Have a physical address and phone number within an
<address> tag at least on your contact page and one other page; the best option would be the homepage. By far the best option is to have your address on all pages of your site. Such information builds trust rank value for your web site too.
For example, if your website was, dexterityunlimited.com, you could add the following at the bottom of all your pages:
- Catanich Internet Marketing - Search Marketing & SEO - Located in Dallas, Texas.
Or something like this:
- Catanich Internet Marketing - Search Marketing - Located in Dallas, Texas.
Make sure that your site is matched up to relevant local directories. The list below points out some great directories where you should include your site.
Incorporate Microformats in to your web site.
Submit your company’s listing to some top directories:
- Yelp. Restaurant Reviews, Doctors, Bars, Salons, Dentists and more;
- Insider Pages. Restaurant Reviews, Beauty Salons, Dentists, Preschools, Spas and more;
- Citysquares.com. Buy Local;
- MojoPages.com. People Powered Yellow Pages.
Submit to Internet Yellow Pages:
- SuperPages.com. Yellow & White Pages;
- Yellow Pages. Phone book services at Yellowbook.com;
- InfoSpace. Listing in Yellow & White Pages;
- Switchboard.com. Yellow Pages, White Pages, Maps, and more.
Submit your site to Local Search Engines:
Submit your company to Data Providers:
Set your geographic location in Google's Webmaster Tools:
Don’t neglect localized searches. Some of your best customers could be right around the corner, but if they can’t find your web site in the local listings that they use, they might never come through your door.