Leveraging the Power of Local Search

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Gone are the days when a business’s marketing strategy consisted of posting a sign on the street and buying a small ad in the Yellow Pages. The explosion of internet marketing has completely revamped the landscape of how we do marketing. Now practically every business has a website, and if they don’t have Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages, well… that is just so last month! Now – as if a website, and social media were not enough – local search is becoming a major consideration. And it’s probably here to stay for the foreseeable future.

After having a website and a Facebook page, most brick-and-mortar businesses should consider investing in local search. In this day and age, the Yellow Pages are becoming almost obsolete. Instead of flipping open a phone book to find a business, consumers are pulling out their iPhones or opening up a web browser. Do you know if they are finding you… or your competition? If your information is not present (or if it is present but incorrect), then it does not matter how snazzy your website is: potential customers will not be able to find you.

There are a couple of solutions that you can utilize to make sure that searchers are finding you:

First, you can submit your information to every local business directory out there. This process is time consuming, and you certainly will miss some of the directories (at the time of the writing of this article, there are well over 1,000). However, this is not as big a disadvantage as it may seem. Many of the directories share common databases, so if you get in one, you may get in several more automatically. Also, the majority of your potential customers will probably never go to “a-really-really-tiny-obscure-local-search-site.com” to search for you. They will probably use Google or a Bing search app on their phone instead. So really, if you get in the major directories, you will be much better off than you might think.

In addition to the self-submission route, you could pay for an automatic submission service. There are a number of companies out there who offer local search submission, and they all do pretty much the same thing. In addition to providing standard directory information, a majority of these local search sites also give you an opportunity to write a short description of your business, giving you an excellent opportunity to brand yourself online. Also, they will link to your website, which helps improve your ranking in Google.

Whether you list your business manually or use a third-party service, local search is a tool that must be in your businesses arsenal.

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