Getting Started with Local Business Search Profiles

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Blog Series: Oh! the Places Your Business Can Go

 

August 9, 2011 – Local search is one of those things that you actively have to monitor and establish on your own – just having a physical address isn’t going to help your Internet marketing if you don’t claim it!

While your building will show up on Google Maps and other similar services, your business will not – unless you’re proactive about it. To get the most out of local listing directories you need to access each website and claim your address as the business owner. This process can take a while, but it’s worth it.

Start out with the big ones:  

  • Google Places;
  • CitySearch;
  • YP.com;
  • MerchantCircle; and
  • Yelp.

There also may be industry-specific directories, like HG.org for lawyers, or SuperPages’ Super Guarantee for service companies. Each site requests your basic business information, but some allow for more detailed info to be shared.

Depending on the site you may have the option to write a short description. You’ll want to hit on the keywords your content targets to help maintain a solid SEO plan across all your Internet marketing methods. Photos of your office front, a team pic at your entrance, or your headshot are all good things to add so your customers can visually see a representation of your business.

Once you’ve got these listings claimed and spruced up, don’t ignore them! Many local search directories allow for clients and customers to comment on your listing and share their feedback. You’ll want to keep an eye on this interaction and make sure you’re responding when needed.

Don’t let these profiles sit unchanged for long, too. Remember that search engines index these pages as well, and just like your normal website, updates to your content can make a world of difference! Once a month pop in to your listings and freshen up your description, add a new picture, or make some sort of change to keep things active.

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