Top Secrets of Local Listings
Investing some time in optimizing your local listings can create major dividends in search traffic. More and more visitors are driven to sites via local listings and optimizing your local listings can contribute to a major boost in sales. Below are some clear steps to help you optimize your local listings and drive more visitors to your site.
Link to Your Website
Especially if you are a franchisee or part of a larger network of sites, make sure to link directly to your office’s website (as opposed to linking to the corporate homepage). Click the link after the listing is verified to ensure it links properly.
List Your Office’s Local Phone Number
Make sure that your local listing’s phone number matches the number you list on your website. Google likes to see that all your contact info matches the info on your site. Any discrepancies can act like red flags, causing Google to question if your local listing is valid and legitimate. Listing an 800 number can appear ‘less local’ than a phone number that includes a local area code.
List Your Office on Additional “Citation Sites”
One of the top three factors that Google uses in determining the legitimacy of your Google Places listing is checking additional online directories to verify that your information, links, address and phone number are consistent. Listing your company on other sites such as Yelp will help build your credibility in Google’s eyes.
Upload High-Quality Images to Your Listing
Google will often display the images associated with your listing either under your organic result, in the right sidebar or along with your map results, adding credibility to your listing and making it much more visible to users.
Link Your YouTube Videos to Your Listing
Google provides a field to easily link YouTube videos to your local listing. Often in organic search results, Google will show the most relevant images and videos instead of a standard web result. Linking your videos to your listing gives them more credibility and helps them be more likely to be displayed among standard search results.
Add All Five Categories to Your Listing
The first has to be one of Google’s suggested categories, but you can write whatever categories you want for the other 4, ‘gimmes’ for quality, targeted keywords. Create Separate Local Listings for Each Physical Office Google can see where the user is searching from, and will show different results depending on the location of the user. If your company has more than one physical location, create and optimize a listing for each office.
Indicate Your Company’s Full Service Area
This can be done either by listing the zip codes your company serves or by indicating a service radius. Especially for a local company, Google will be much more likely to show your office to users inside your service area, even on broader, nonbrand name searches.
Include a Description with Targeted Keywords
Google offers two places to write descriptions of your company’s services, so take the time to craft a quality, compelling description containing quality, targeted keywords.
Verify Your Listing
Once you create your listing, you aren’t finished! Google will need to verify your listing through either a snail mail postcard or a phone call to your
listed phone number. If you don’t complete this important step, your listing will rarely be shown!
Arguably the most powerful and influential ingredient of your local listing, both in presenting your business as a legitimate listing and in gaining
trust with users. The more reviews the better, even 2 or 3 reviews can make a huge difference.
Make an Offer
Google gives you the opportunity to create a limited-time offer, such as 30% off. These offers give your listing more visibility.
Local listings are all about establishing trust, legitimacy and proximity, so presenting any accreditations that your business has accrued will only help build the trust in your brand.
Make Sure Your Business Name is Your Actual Brand Name
Trying to sneak keywords as the title of your business is definitely frowned upon by Google, is confusing to users and can result in your listing being flagged.