2: Local Search

Strategy #2: Local Search

Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings.

Typical local search queries include not only information about “what” the site visitor is searching for (such as keywords, a business category, or the name of a consumer product) but also “where” information, such as a street address, city name, postal code, or geographic coordinates like latitude and longitude.

Examples of local searches include “Hong Kong hotels”, “Manhattan restaurants”, and “Dublin Hertz”. Source

So, in other words, here we will be looking to get our business presence in the top of the search engine results so our local clients can find our business once they search for a topic directly related to our business.

There are a lot of Search Engines used by people to find answers to their needs and questions. But the most important of all are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Google has recently launched what is called Google My Business. I’ve gotta tell you it’s just absolutely great. Google My Business consist of a multi-layer platform which connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.

You just need to create your Google Offline Business Account which is free by clicking on Get on Google. Of course, you will need to have a Gmail account already created in order to have access to this service as well.

If you already have created any Google Maps or Google Places account, login with those same details and make sure everything is updated.

Once logged in you will able to create a new page. Google will take your current location at every step of the process, because logically you are trying to create a Google Business Page in your local area.

After choosing your Business Type, you will be able to submit the name of your business, and if you don’t find your business listed which probably is what is going to happen, then you can click on “Let me enter the full business details”

Then you will submit all of your Offline Business information with all the details.

Google will even give you the ability to find exactly where your offline business is located. You just need to search on the map where it is exactly located, drag and drop the red pin on top of your business and click on “done”.

Then after clicking on continue, you will be asked if you are authorized to manage this business and if you agree the terms of service.

Then you will need to verify your association with this business with a verification code that will be sent to the postal address you have just inserted into your Business Information.

Then after that confirmation requirement, you will be lead to your brand new Google Business Account, which is connected to all the amazing tools Google has created for your business which is absolutely amazing.

Let me give you 4 very important pieces of advice to consider using Google My Business:

  1. You must do every single thing Google asks you to do throughout the process.
  2. Inside your Google’s Business Page dashboard, by clicking on Edit, you will be able to add a lot more important information – you must add every single thing there, too.
  3. We strongly advise you to use 100% accurate information, you must use your real Business name (not a keyword), updated business address, real contact info, your actual business hours, real business picture and a really professional and descriptive introduction, etc.
  4. We advise you to check if there are other Google Business Pages for the exact same company, this is not good at all. Clicking on the settings you will be able to see all pages listed, just go inside of the duplicated one, click on edit, and going down you will find the “Delete this Page” link.

Finally, I would like you to know the principal Ranking Factors of your Google Business Page

  • Accurate and Optimized Business Information: all of your business information should be completely filled and accurate in all places: Google Products, Website, Local Listings, etc.
  • Real Followers: the greater the number of real followers from your local area your business has the higher the ranking potential your business will get for that same audience related to your local business.
  • Posts Frequencies: consistent updates will tell people you are alive and that you are always trying to offer new content to your audience
  • Followers Engagement: another sign of being alive is your followers’ engagement. There is no point having a great deal of real followers for your local business Google listing if no one is having real and constant interaction with your business.
  • Reviews: reviews is an extremely important feature Google My Business is offering as well. Google organizes reviews by score as well, and besides registering these reviews inside of Google’s platform, Google has also the ability to retrieve and store those reviews from other websites. Something that is offering real value to other people will surely be picked up by Google to be on top.
  • Citations: with this we mean that your NAP (Local Business Name, Local Business Address and your Local Business Phone number) should be everywhere on the web. We can call this Off-Page SEO.

Yahoo is not far behind when it comes to Local Marketing Services for Local Businesses.

Yahoo has introduced an absolutely awesome service called Yahoo Localworks. With this service you will be able to get your business listing on Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, MapQuest, Superpages, and more!

But one of the greatest services guarantees your presence in 40+ local directories, which is just awesome.

This submission to local directories will skyrocket your top ranking potential on Google and on any other search engine as well.

Besides all this, with Yahoo you will be able to tap into a network of 150 million local searches per month.

Bing is actually offering the same service for local business.

“Bing Places for Business is a free service that allows you to add or claim your business listing on Bing and be found by millions of Bing users searching online. Claiming your listing allows you to take control of your business information online and enrich it with content like photos, cuisine & menu URLs, phone numbers, and other relevant information.”

“This information can help Bing users to learn more about your products and services as well as how to contact you if they desire to initiate a transaction with your business.” Source

You can find the same services offered by other search engines as well. It’s a matter of searching a little bit and establishing your local business at the place your customers constantly go to, to search for something on the web.