For any local brick and mortar store or service provider, it is important to submit your business to the local business directories. A complete local business profile on Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s local business directories can bring in high converting traffic to your business.
Claim Your Listing!
The first thing you will want to do is sign up for Google LBC, Yahoo LBC, and MSN LBC and claim your listing. By claiming your listing you verify that you are the businesses owner. For Google they allow you to verify your listing by calling your phone and entering the pin code they provide, or you can wait for a pin number to be mailed. Yahoo & Bing will manually verify the business listing by mailing you a letter with a PIN code.
One thing search engines look at is if your listing is verified or not. If you do not claim your listing, you are susceptible to profile hijacking. Profile or listing hijacking means that someone acts like they are your listing and changes the information provided in the profile. For any listing that is not claimed, anyone can edit the local business information, so be sure to claim yours!
Complete the Business Profile
It is crucial that you fill out your listing completely by adding the following: your full address, a company description, email address, website address, store hours, brands carried, upload photos/videos, etc. The more complete your listing is, the more likely it is to rank well in the local business listing results. I cannot stress this enough! be very descriptive.
Search engines will take the number of business reviews you have into consideration, also if the reviews are positive or negative. You may also notice that Google can pull in reviews from other relevant websites and other 3rd party local directories. With that being said, you may want to monitor what others are saying about you on other review sites. In addition, ask your clients to submit a review. Ask them in person, in a newsletter, a personalized email, or on your website or blog. The more the merrier.
No of course not. That is not all there is to Local SEO, but it is a must have starting point. Just remember this; before you go putting in any information, a keyword list should be in place. You should also know what kind of search volume those keywords have, both locally and globally. You may want to talk to a local search expert, like me! I can tell you whether or not I can help you fairly easily.