First Moves on Local Search: 10 Point Checklist

by Eileen Lonergan August 11th, 2011 

local-search

If you are a local business just beginning the process of getting yourself online where to begin may seem overwhelming. These tips should help lay the foundation for setting up your business to be successful with local search.

  1. First thing first, understand the Web Equity Infographic. (Adam Adeline Lok)
  2. I would start by typing your business name into Google to find out where your business is already listed. Go through at least the first 5 – 10 pages of those results especially if there is another company with similar name and location mixed in. Make a list of the sites and links to your profiles so you can check on them to verify the information, claim your listing and complete the profiles. This will flush out any sites that have you business listed multiple times too. (Elisa Atherton-Navarette, Waterproof Businesses)
  3. Get your own website; don't rely on local online listings only for your web presence. (Eileen Lonergan, EileenLonergan.com)
  4. Consider getting a geotargeted keyword rich domain such as "townname+service.com" WarrentonPetSitting.com or EastLansingAutoDetailing.com (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  5. Make sure your phone number is prominently displayed in the header of each page. (too many websites make people hunt for the phone number and contact information …) (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  6. If applicable, include a Request Quote form on each page (see http://fauquierexcavating.com/about-us/ for example) … make it easy for visitors to contact you and let you know how they found you … (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  7. Make sure each website page has an optimized page title and page description (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  8. Set up a yelp.com business profile and encourage customers to submit positive reviews there, since these reviews will also be reflected in your Google Places listing and enhance your search results. (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services).  You will find yourself adding your business to many directories, create two spreadsheets one will contain all of the profile information they will be entering (name, address, tagline, description) and the second for all the logins and passwords they will be creating. That will keep your information consistent and reduce the frustration of trying to remember which username and password they used for which site. (Elisa Atherton-Navarette, Waterproof Businesses)
  9. If you serve multiple towns/ localities, add geotargeted pages to your website to help you get found for more local search phrases. (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  10. Incorporate a blog into your website and blog at least once a week on an optimized keyword or phrase.  (Yvonne Herbst, Herbst Marketing Services)
  11. If target audience is small businesses. My first move is to ensure every webpage on my site has my complete and correct name address and phone number (NAP) on it. (Ta Teirlynck)
  12. I would first suggest seeing if you have a Google Places page, claiming it, and optimizing it properly – which often requires expert help, especially to gt your listing to appear on page 1 of Google. This "mini-site" from Google may very well get you on the first page of Google (at least for a non-competitive search term) without you having a website at all. (Diana Ratliff, Your Friend on the Web)
  13. Do you have a "Special Offer"? Total mobile coupon spending in the U.S. is expected to rise from $90 million in 2009 to $6.53 billion in 2014, according to its 2010 U.S. Local Mobile Advertising and Promotions Forecast.  (Laura Heuer, Green Castle Web Design)

Opps, we came up with a few more than 10!  The contributors to this article are members of the Expand2Web Experts Group, a group of web consultants, do-it-yourself small businesses owners or those looking to start their own consulting business.

Eileen Lonergan

Eileen Lonergan is a WordPress website designer, a ghost blogger, and manages social media for a variety of clients.

eileenlonergan.com

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4 Responses to “First Moves on Local Search: 10 Point Checklist”

  1. Laura says:

    Great article Eileen,
    I love the "geotargeted pages". We did this with a client and the results where and still are amazing! These pages can really bring in extra leads and business.

    • I agree, geotargeted pages are a great idea. I am curious, how many did you create for the client? There is a debate out there as to how many are effective and at what point it becomes "spam" or overkill?

  2. Jake says:

    Optimizing Google Place listings has boosted many of my offline clients to the first page of google. It just takes the right competitive term to optimize for.

    • I agree Jake, the Google Place listing is an awesome opportunity to skyrocket up to the top. Do you have any tools or tips for finding the right keyword that you could share?