Today, showing up properly in the local search results on sites like Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Apple maps and other local sites is essential to the success of any business.
Most small business owners do not realize that showing on these sites is free and that properly setting them up and claiming them across many sites can drive new local paying customers to their websites.
Here are 5 tools and resources that will help you claim your listing properly:
1. Excel Spreadsheet of Google Docs Spreadsheet
I know, not the great tool you were expecting. However, you need to track your progress and more importantly, your listing information. It is essential that you are consistent in how you build and add your listing from the Business name to the exact spelling of the street address. This also allows you to keep track of all the usernames and passwords you create on these different sites so you have them for later. Here is a sample blank spreadsheet.
Use getlisted.org to get started building your local listings. It has a great interface you can use to search for your existing listings on the most important websites. Note: Always claim existing listings and correct them if your have old listings in the results. You want to avoid duplicate listings of your business. They offer a nice dashboard to track your progress and improve your local presence.
Yext.com is a paid source for quick syndication on many local websites. I do not recommend using their pay service. I do however recommend using their homepage to find other websites where you should claim or repair your listing. It will tell you certain things missing from each listing and how to improve it, fix it or claim it.
The main reason we do not recommend using Yext is because it is a recurring billing model. Typically with local listings once you create them, they are not going to change often. Unless you are moving your business every year (which isn’t good business), the long term cost of Yext doesn’t justify the ease the syndication software offers for a small business.
4. White Spark Local Citation Finder
Once you have exhausted the first two tools and all the primary local listing websites, WhiteSpark.ca’s Local Citation Finder is a great tool to find new places to build local citations for your business. It is FREE if you are only using the tool for one business. There is a way to track down citations using Google and search queries, but this tool simplifies the process. It will give you a nice list of sites to add to your spreadsheet and build citations from.
5. Bright Local Local SEO Tools
If you have covered all the basics and want to get serious about your efforts, brightlocal.com offers a great tool to track your rankings and follow your progress. It is free for a month and then there are paid options thereafter. They also offer other great tools for evaluating your competitors, finding new citations and getting more reviews.
Quick Local Listing Building Tips:
- Start with Google Places and Google+ Pages. Hopefully the two will be merged soon, but this is your primary listing that all others should be built to imitate this one.
- Be consistent: Use the exact same information, spelling, address abbreviation, etc on every listing, or as close as each site will allow.
- Track your results: Keep a log and check back to make sure the listings are showing in the live directory.
- Put your primary office address on every page of your website, possibly in the footer. The business name and address info should match you local listings.
- Create a system for obtaining customer reviews. Make it easy for the customer by sending them a email explaining how to leave a review if they wish.
A Few Great Local SEO Resources:
Need Help with a Local SEO Campaign or Getting More Local Business?
BK Media Pros can manage your local SEO for you. We have the team, the training and expertise to make sure you local business is marketed online properly. Contact us today at 502-509-1519 or complete our contact form below for more information.