Linking with local directories and companies should be part of your local SEO strategy, that is if you have a business with a physical location. If you do it correctly it will increase your local search rankings and will help local customers find your business online.

Any mention of your business online with your web address, telephone number and postal address will help you rank higher. If you haven’t done it already then list your business in local business directories, Yellow Pages and Google Business (Google Business will send you a postcard with verification code to your registered business address)

Local listings (also known as Citations) are an occurrence of a NAP.
What’s a NAP?:

  1. Name of business
  2. Address of business
  3. Phone number of business

When those three bits of information show up on a webpage together, that is considered a citation.

Local listings are absolutely necessary and play a key role in search engine algorithms. The more listings your business has the more satisfied the search engines will be that the information about your business is correct.

Local listings will not only help you rank higher but it will also help your customers when they search for your contact information, opening hours, company/services reviews etc.

According to a recent survey carried out in the US, 78% of local searches on mobile and 61% of local searches on laptops result in offline purchases.

It’s clear that people that are on the go still like to visit brick and mortar businesses. You might not sell products and services on your website but as long as your visitors can get a general idea about your business in the first 10 seconds they are more than likely to either contact you or visit your business address.

Creating and maintaining local listings can not only be time-consuming but often incorrect business information can lead to a loss of leads, rankings and interests. When you list or claim your business on Google Business your business listing usually comes up before organic listings. So even if your site is not on the first page of Google for your chosen term if someone searches for “service/town name” your business might come up before organic results kick in.

Where to list your business

You can start with big players first:

Google Places 
Bing Places
Yahoo Local 
Yelp
Foursquare
YellowPages

Social Media accounts

If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business now it’s time to create one. You should also consider Facebook Marketing Service because you can advertise your business for as little as £7/day. Make sure to have your business name, address and telephone number listed on your social media profiles.

When you run your local search engine optimisation campaign make sure to always use the same business name. Don’t submit your business to Google as “John Doe Sports Shop” and then go to Yell and spam it with “John Doe Trainers”. That will not help you. If your previous “SEO” company created those entries on your behalf then you should fix them ASAP. Your citation details should always be the same, don’t use different telephone numbers for tracking purposes – pick a number from your pool and use it.

Managing your local citations and listings

There are two options when it comes to local SEO.

  1. You can do it yourself now that you have a general idea of how local SEO works
  2. You can instruct IT Support to research your local area and add your business to all local directories and sites.

We believe that you can optimise local SEO yourself just by following instructions found here and elsewhere but if you find this SEO business too daunting then we’d be happy to help you.

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Nenad Rajsic

Nenad is an IT consultant who helps SMEs with technology and online presence. He has years of experience with systems and networks, web design and technologies, SEO and social media marketing.

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