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How to Optimize Your Business for Local Search

Local search is where many businesses are losing out on a lot of potential traffic and consumers. As fewer people turn to their phone books today, and go to their search engine with specific needs in mind, it is important for your business to appear in those results. If you are not optimized for local search, you may as well be sending customers to your competition. Take a look at these ways you can optimize your business for local search.

Get Listed in Google Places

Google Places is the search engine giants answer to local search for consumers. A business not listed here is taking a huge hit. Google is the number one search engine used in the United States and in most other countries as well. People use it every day, and Google Places automatically show in results when people search for businesses. In addition to Google Places, also list your business in Yahoo! and Bing Local to cover the top three search engines.

There is a lot of material out there to help you learn how to optimize your listing, as well as how to track the results. Spend some time educating yourself prior to adding your listing to make the most of it.

Ask Your Customers for Online Reviews

Online review websites are everywhere. Ask your customers for online reviews to support your efforts in the search engine places directories by including a note on your business card, on your invoice, or any other marketing material. The ideal scenario is to have a slow and steady stream of reviews for your business so you avoid spamming the system. If you are already using social media, take advantage of that to solicit reviews.

Get Listed in Online Business Directories

Taking time to get listed in various online business directories such as will greatly increase your business exposure and provide a link back to your website, which will increase your search engine rankings. It is free to list your business in directories like this one, and you can control everything about what the listing says. Simply provide a business description, choose the appropriate category for your listing, upload a photo, and include your telephone number and website URL. You will start to see an increase in traffic from being listed in these directories because many people turn to them in lieu of using a direct search engine.

Top Ranking Local Directories

Don’t forget listings in your local Better Business Bureau directory, even if you are not paying for membership. The local Chamber of Commerce is also a great place to be listed.

Though it may seem time consuming to take these steps for local search engine optimization, the payoff in the end will be well worth the time you invest into following these steps. Google Places and many online business directories are free to use for both business owners adding their listing as well as consumers looking for a product or service. Not taking advantage of what these free services have to offer you is a mistake.

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