When you create a new listing in Google’s Local Business Center (LBC), you may be prompted if there are existing listings for your business. For those unfamiliar with the LBC, it’s where you create a business profile that shows up in Google Maps, as well as the natural search listings. Here’s an example:
Why would there already be a listing for your business? Because Google sometimes creates listings for businesses that have not yet created their own, and it does this by pulling information from sources across the web, including human-powered directories. It’s common that these Google-gathered listings have errors—for example, you may have changed your phone number or relocated since Google gathered its information.
There is often much confusion on what the proper steps are when you discover more than one existing local listing for your business in the search engines. The thing to do is claim and edit the existing listing.
It’s important to remember: For each physical location of your business, you should have only one listing. Having more than one can negatively impact the position of all of your listings, decreasing your visibility among local prospects (bad).
What if there are multiple listings? Google has recommended some steps to take to properly handle multiple listings for their Local Business Center:
- Choose the listing that you’d prefer to keep in your account. Make sure that you have all your enhanced content (photos, business hours, description) attached to this listing and this listing only.
- For duplicates of this listing in your account (the ones you want to remove), remove all enhanced information. Keep only required information, like the business title, address, and one phone number.
- Submit these changes and verify as necessary.
- Now, sit tight for a couple of weeks – just for good measure.
- Delete the duplicates from your account, choosing Remove this listing from my Local Business Center account.
The key point to remember is that it’s crucial to have one optimized listing for your business. This entry should have all of the additional information and be as close to 100 percent complete as possible. Local search has a ton of potential for small business and creating this optimized listing can dramatically increase your visibility among your target market and create a steady stream of free inbound leads.
In my last two posts, we learned how to select the right core keywords and how to add the right geographic modifiers to take advantage of local online marketing. In this post, we’ll walk through the various elements of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to use the right local keywords to optimize web pages for a local business web site.
The five primary areas where you use local SEO keywords are:
1. Title tag
2. Meta description tag
3. Meta keywords tag
4. Page content and H1 tags
5. Internal and external links
Let’s go through each of these and learn what they are, where they can be seen, and the guidelines for using keywords in each.
As discussed in my last post, finding the right keywords for your search marketing campaigns is essential for getting the right traffic to your web site at the right price. But many small and midsized businesses should also consider adding geographic keyword modifiers to their search campaigns to really target their search marketing campaigns. In this post, we’ll define geographic modifiers and discuss why they are important to localized search marketers.
What is a geographic modifier?
A geographic keyword modifier is the use of a geographic term in the beginning, end, or in the middle of a keyword term. For example, if my core keyword was “health insurance,” you could geographically modify the keyword by adding the term “Denver” to it, making it “Denver health insurance” or “health insurance Denver.” Pretty straight forward, eh?
Why would I use a geographic modifier?
Even if a business wants to appeal to searchers on a national basis, it’s not a bad idea to start out by targeting a local market, because they will be able to see better results more quickly. Why? Because competition can be fierce on the national level, and the timeline for success can be considerably longer.
To small businesses, the benefit of dabbling in local search is clear: Get found by a geographically relevant group of customers who are in search of the product and/or service you offer. What a concept—real-time interaction and a high conversion rate to boot!
However, the process by which you properly establish your small business in the local search world can be confusing to some, downright maddening to others. Take Angelo’s mom for instance. If you can ignore the talk of the devil and the image of her spitting down her own shirt, you might be able to relate to the frustrations here. Like a desktop PC for technologically hesitant parents over 55, online marketing is a mysterious world that few small businesses have mastered on their own. So before getting stubborn and rejecting the process, read on for some simple insights into getting your business successfully integrated into local search …
About a month ago, my wife and I welcomed our fourth child into the world and the team at Kutenda presented us with a gift certificate to a restaurant near my house. Needless to say, our hands were full, so ordering in seemed like the perfect option.
It was a surprise to me when I did a Google search and couldn’t find a web site for the place. This was a bit frustrating, as it’s tough to order for delivery when you don’t know what is on the menu. Fortunately, the place was only a 6-minute drive, so I went there to find out.
I entered the restaurant and asked for a takeout menu. The hostess said their takeout menus were located in the Yellow Pages. Wow.
As mentioned here last week, marketing a small or medium sized business through the local search results is an effective and smart way to generate new leads and sales to your business. As a local business owner getting your web site into the local business results on Google, also know as the 10-pack, can bring substantial new business for no direct cost.
In the past, once you had set up your local search listing on Google there was not a whole lot of visibility into how exactly those local search listings were benefiting you, other than corollary data in Google Analytics and the perceived increase in web based inquiries coming via phone calls, emails, or inquiry for submissions.
About two months ago, Google opened up Local Business Center reports, which give local business owners a detailed look into what is going on with their local search listings. These listings not only show small businesses marketers what they have done well, but also can show areas for improvement in their local business listing.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in the Google Local Business Center reports. » Read More
» Read More
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