A better local ranking in any popular search engine can provide helpful exposure to businesses. When someone searches for a product or service that is available locally, Google will normally show them results that have local businesses featured at the top… this is called Google Places.
Search engines accumulate information from a number of other sites. But, if you want to climb the ladder of local rankings, it will require planning and implementation of local marketing strategies.
Incorporate local elements in your website
To start with, your business website must have local information. When adding content to your website, you need to include information about the locality of what you’re offering…
- Mention your city in the title tag
- Describe the location, if possible in the description tag
- Mention your address in the footer. The search engine will register it
- Include your phone number
- Provide some local references in the content so that the search engine gets more than one reason to enlist you when that locality is searched through.
- In the contact page provide minute details and directions to your business (you can use Google Maps, too)
Creating a profile in Google Places
Since Google Places is where they normally pull local business information, creating a complete profile in Google Places will give you some starting mileage. There’s even a good chance your business is already listed and is sitting there “unclaimed”. In that case, you need to claim your Google Places listing but don’t stop there – continue to optimize it. Here are a few tips on creating a profile in Google place.
- Provide correct information to all the fields mentioned
- When you fill in your profile, there will be a number of fields. Complete them all with to-the-point information.
- Choosing the category of your business is very crucial because it is by category that the search engine will sort out the list. Choose the most appropriate and if you do not find one that seems to fit, create a category for your business.
- Mention other details like the hours of operation, payment option etc.
- Then there will be a verifying process
- Add images and if possible, video (tag them with good, relevant keywords and use keyword rich titles)
Sifting through websites, you will come across a number of customers’ reviews. These reviews often contribute to the ranking of your business on a search engine. So, getting reviews from customers is very important. But this is not easy to get done.
Convincing the customers to write about the service is sometimes difficult. Some businesses are afraid of getting reviews because they don’t want to chance getting negative reviews.
However, you should try to be encouraging customers leave you reviews. If you have their email address, you can try sending them an email requesting them to write about the service that they have got from your company. You can offer a discount on their next purchase if they provide the username they left a review with (so you can verify it’s there). The Affinion Group has a wide variety of marketing services and that could likely help with implementing something effective. Reviews will help you to score better in the search engines.
There are several websites which provide citations i.e. popular search engines like Google get information from these sites. So, it is important to register your company profile with them. Some sites include ShopCity.com, SuperPages.com, MagicYellow, Yelp, Zidster and InfoUSA. Other search engines may take information from these websites, too.